Recession-proof Christian Life
2/4/12 at 11:57 PM 0 Comments

Money and the Bible (Part 2)

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God is a great restorer and a great provider. He does not forget those who have given even when men have.  The Bible also helps us to see that famines are called by God.  There is hardly any famine mentioned in the Bible that is not shown as an instrument in the hands of God to get His own children to repent.  God does not need to send famine to those He has marked out for destruction.  Indeed, their destroyer is their own wealth and surfeiting in excess....their greed soon overtakes them to make grievous mistakes just as God preserves and restores His own.

2 Kings 8[1]  Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. [2]  And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. [3]  And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. [4]  And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. [5]  And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. [6]  And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.

It is difficult to expound on God’s truths about giving without appearing to be a hungry charlatan angling for help.  Many have twisted the scriptures and misused people and gifts given to God...others say God does not expect our tithes, offerings and first fruits...and instead give God the crumbs and remnants after we have consumed God’s money in our hands on wicked living.  With our appetite constantly whetted by consumer advertising telling us to borrow to spend on what we really do not need... how can we have anything for God?  The preacher is not allowed to talk about the needs of the temple...the Bible is not silent.  Hear what God is still saying.

Haggai 1[4]  Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? [5]  Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. [6]  Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. [7]  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. [8]  Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. [9]  Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Dear friend, God is never mocked ... God is His own judge and interpreter of all situations. In the passage is a woman who surrendered space and provision for the Prophet of God. God (not a preacher) does not only ensure she has a son (2 Kings 4:9-17)... but God brings back her son from death.  But that is not all.  When God calls for a famine, this woman is given an instruction to sojourn to the land of the Philistines ...and she is blessed with a rare faith as she obeys.   The blessing of faith is a great blessing indeed.  Do you observe that the Philistines have food while God calls a famine on His own children.  God chastises His own and often just permits others to live as they wish and get away with anything.

In the end after the famine, she returns and cries for help to the King ... and meets Gehazi – a servant who the Bible tells us served but not faithfully.  God still uses Gehazi to draw attention to this woman and the King orders an unusual restoration.  She is not just given her land...but all the fruit that would have been harvested for seven years if there had been no famine was also given to her in one single act of benevolence.

Gehazi, the other servant ...the greedy person who knows the corridor of power well and who has mastered how to use God’s principles of giving but for His own selfish purpose ... we read elsewhere ends up a leper.  Remember Gehazi was useful to ensure the woman was blessed.  The greedy huckster pastor – peddling advantage, prayers, even the gospel and books etc  does have his uses.

In summary...though seven years pass, but God has still not forgotten your gifts.  He will restore you. As for the many Gehazis in the temple – clever ones who have deceived many ... God also knows.  Gehazi also got his surprise eventually - leprosy...

The greatest thing you can give to God is your heart ...surrender it to Him, today.  let Christ be Lord of your life.  

You may also want to read Part I.

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