February 24, 2017
Deliverance, Provision, Protection
Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you. Deuteronomy 16:16-17
Each year, the Old Testament worshiper observed three Old Testament festivals. The Feast of Unleavened Bread began with the Passover and celebrated Israel's deliverance from Egypt. Seven weeks later, the Festival of Weeks marked the climax of the wheat harvest. The Festival of Tabernacles was an annual reminder of God's protection and provision during the forty years in the wilderness.
These were times of looking back and looking ahead. Israel had seen God's deliverance, provision and protection in the past, and He would certainly provide it in the future. In gratitude to what God had done and would do, the worshiper was not to come "empty-handed." His freewill offering was not a set amount. It was to be in proportion to God's blessings.
The same instruction applies to New Testament believers. Giving is not to be legalistic or burdensome. It is an act of worship when we bring our offering to Him. Someone has well said, "Give according to God's blessing; lest He bless according to your giving."
Father, may we know this truth: You own all things. Everything we have is from Your hand. Everything we have must be used to honor You. May we not only know this truth but live it out in our lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.