To Jerusalem

2 Chronicles 11: 16

People from every tribe of Israel who were determined to seek the Lord God of Israel followed the Levitical priests to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord God of their ancestors.

I wrote last week that my impression of Solomon’s offerings to the Lord were a sign that he sought the Lord and His wisdom. Today’s verse seems to support that idea. I am not suggesting that we need to buy the Lord’s favor, not at all. None the less, I also tire of people who want everything for free. I find this particularly true in the church. It seems to me that God and ministers should be honored in a tangible way. The people in today’s verse sought God with their hearts, their feet and their gifts.

The people referred to in today’s passage left their homes and travelled to Jerusalem to seek the face of their Lord. They did not arrive empty handed though. Do you think this is just an Old Testament idea? Maybe we don’t have to give good gifts to God anymore now that He has poured out Jesus for us. Or, do we need to make greater gifts because Jesus has been given for us? I truly believe it is the latter. I don’t think God requires it of us in the sense that He won’t meet our needs or answer our prayers, but I do think it matters to Him. I am sure He likes to be appreciated and honored for all He has done. Praise is more than words lifted up or a nice song. Praise can be very tangible. It can be a gift.

Today’s verse says two things to me: seek the Lord and give good gifts to Him. We fall woefully short these days. Why has the church come to this point? So, few people tithe? Why is that? The church is getting weak and many ministers are afraid to tell their congregants that giving is part of the faith. They do you an injustice and steal from you because giving is part of your livelihood. Look what it did for Solomon. God honored Solomon’s gifts by appearing to him in a dream and granting Solomon’s desire. Is it any mistake these two acts coincide? I don’t think so.

I want everyone who reads the Word of the Day to become very good at giving because I want to revitalize and strengthen the church. If we spend all our money on “stuff” instead of supporting the ministries, we deprive ourselves. It’s true. Giving is a way of life and an important part of serving our Lord. I would love to see the church rise up and show itself generous and loving. This is the way to change the world. We can be like the people in today’s passage who followed their pastor and made sacrifice to their King. They honored God and fed the priests all as a part of seeking God. What a beautiful example.  Why can’t we be like them?  What would it take and what would be gained?  I am sure it would be good for us.