Monday, January 28, 2013

Proverbs 28:27 The lion and the mouse

He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs 28:27

Our buddy Solomon is just re-phrasing a principle that was found in the Law -- be generous to those who have less than you do, and you will not lack what you need; you will receive a blessing from God. It was a physical reward for a physical offering. 

Real, tangible, you-can-hold-it-in-your-hand results.

In the New Testament, there are lots of verses that address this issue. We've looked at some of them already, when we have studied verses that are similar to this one. But I found something in Corinthians that really inspired me . . . let me show you:
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.    II Corinthians 8:8-14
Paul was discussing the churches and the way that they could assist one another --- from one who had abundance, to another who had need.  Did you see the bold type? Of course, that is my emphasis that I added, to draw our attention to it. It's kinda like the old story of the lion and the mouse. Remember? The mouse pleaded for his life and the lion let him go. He told the lion that someday when he was in trouble, the mouse would help him . . . and he did, when the lion was caught in a net. The mouse helped him to escape.

Now, please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not promising, as some will, that you will receive that tangible, hold-it-in-your-hand result. You might! There might be a time when someone whom you have helped, is able to repay your compassion with tangible things that you desperately need. You supplied their need in your time of bounty, and they will supply your need when you are lacking.
There might also be times when the blessing that we receive is a spiritual one:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  II Corinthians 9: 6-15
 It's not what we have that is so important --- it's how we use what we have!!


CATachresis said...

Yes, it is all to do with the attitude of heart! Thanks once again for the timely reminder Snoodles x

Belinda said...

I read the post this morning but am just now able to sit down and write a comment. I still don't know exactly what I want to say, having thought about this off and on all day....

There are a couple or three folks in my life that I try to "supply their need" on occasion. One is more time than money, one is a little money when I can, and one is more of my self. I've mentioned on here before that I would give more to our church if my husband was on the same giving wavelength as I, but we don't see it the same way and I do what I can.

I know I could and give more in each area, but I hope God is blessed by what little I do, and the recipient as well.

It's not about "me" in this life as the Word often reminds us. But we often forget that important truth. And God owns it all anyway! We discussed this and tithing in my Sunday morning Bible study yesterday and someone said, "We should be very thankful He allows us to keep 90%!!!" So very true.