Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Walking in Wisdom – Wisdom in Work and Wealth

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Week Four – Day 3.  Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Read Proverbs 3:9-10
PROVERBS 3:9-10 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

O – It’s interesting that this passage comes soon after what we all quote in seeking God’s guidance: Proverbs 3: 5,6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Then – “do not be wise in your own eyes…” This is part of the “in ALL your ways…”

How do we honor the Lord with our wealth and the “first fruits”? The firstfruits were the part of crops, actually, the first part of their olive oil, wine, and grain produced each year. The Israelites were required to give this to the priests. (NIV study Bible) How do I translate for today? What comes first in our lives? What part of our “wealth” is honoring to the Lord? The first part. The priority.

The tithe – the ten percent that we all think of in giving our “tithes and offerings.” I thought that it was in Malachi 3 that we were instructed in tithing – as that is the verse passage that I had always heard. BUT – it is actually taught in Numbers (18:21,24,38), Deuteronomy (12:6,11; 14:22,28;26:1), II Chronicles 31:12 and in Nehemiah 10:37,28. It was the portion that was given to the Levites from the Israelites. It’s often mentioned as “contributions, firstfruits, and tithes.”

It is interesting to see that in this passage, it DOESN’T say “tithes.” It says “honor the Lord with your wealth AND with the firstfuits.” So – that, to me, goes back to that earlier verse to “trust, lean not, acknowledge.” “In all my ways.” Finances. Belongings. My “stuff.” My time. My “treasures.” All those things that consist of our wealth. Not JUST our money. BUT – it includes our money!

A – I grew up in the home of the church treasurer. My dad taught me about tithing at an early age. But – it wasn’t taught as a “you must” as in legalistic. It was about “honoring to the Lord.” We give – because He gives to us. It’s not ours, anyways. We are stewards of what He blesses us with. So, yes, tithing was part of my upbringing. But it was the “honoring with your wealth” that I see now, as an adult. He would quietly give to others, blessing them, beyond his tithing. Sometimes, I was the recipient. I struggled financially in those early years as a single mom. He’d often “bless” me with some money, or help with a bill, or college payments, and when I thanked him, it was…. “Thank the Lord and sing the Doxology.”

I want that attitude now….”thank the Lord and sing the Doxology.” “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise God all creatures here below, Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Praise Him – from whom ALL blessings flow. Recognizing from where they come. Recognizing that they aren’t “mine.”

It is interesting to think back on the past 18 months. When we were preparing to marry, it was a joint decision for me not to work, especially as a teacher, and to see how that impacted our finances and living. It has been a change for me, not to work, not to bring in income as part of my “identity” or “work.” But – God has provided, and it has given me opportunity to do things that I never could before – lead a daytime women’s Bible study, volunteer, meet women for coffee or discipleship, prepare meals from scratch, and lots more. But, it has meant less spending. Less going out to eat – which seems to be a part of our society now. Less “stuff.” More thinking through – “what do we need?” But I am SO satisfied! And – God is providing!

And, it comes down to a heart issue. I am convicted today by this verse….. Matthew 6:21. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (ESV) Where is my treasure today? Does it reflect my heart? What am I withholding? Am I withholding nothing…. Or is there a little corner in my heart that is hanging on to something?

P – Father God, thank You for Your word…. Today it is sharp. Help me to honor You with the wealth that You have bestowed on me. My time. My ability to be home – to be free to bless others. Give me ways to bless others – and You – with what You have given me. Search my heart today. Help me to withhold nothing. Sweep out those little corners of my heart that hang on to my “treasures.” Help me to give freely – honestly – with all that You have given me. I recognize that it is Yours to begin with. Father, Thank You for the blessings You have given me. May I go through this day with a doxology attitude. Amen.

Study Notes: (Lumina)
tn The imperative כַּבֵּד (kabbed, “honor”) functions as a command, instruction, counsel or exhortation. To honor God means to give him the rightful place of authority by rendering to him gifts of tribute. One way to acknowledge God in one’s ways (v. 6) is to honor him with one’s wealth (v. 9).
tn Heb “produce.” The noun תְּבוּאָה (tÿvu’ah) has a two-fold range of meaning: (1) “product; yield” of the earth (= crops; harvest) and (2) “income; revenue” in general (BDB 100 s.v.). The imagery in vv. 9-10 is agricultural; however, all Israelites – not just farmers – were expected to give the best portion (= first fruits) of their income to Lord.
tn Heb “with plenty” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV); NIV “to overflowing.” The noun שָׂבָע(sava’, “plenty; satiety”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner or contents: “completely.”

“Withholding Nothing” William McDowell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdnV75zIQUA
I surrender all to you
Everything I give to you
withholding nothing
withholding nothing

I surrender all to you
Everything I give to you
withholding nothing
withholding nothing

I surrender all to you
Everything I give to you
withholding nothing
withholding nothing

I give you all of me
I give you all of me

King Jesus
My Savior
Forever
I give you all of me
I give you all of me

I give you all of me
I give you all of me

I surrender all to you
Everything I give to you
withholding nothing
withholding nothing

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