Thursday, February 27, 2014


Hezekiah reopened the Temple, rededicated it to the Lord, celebrated the Passover, and reinstituted the tithe. The priests and Levites were able to devote themselves to their assigned functions in and around the Temple and the generosity of the people was so great that Hezekiah had to order extra storerooms built onto the Temple. There was no one in need because the people gave faithfully, cheerfully, and for the right reason: to honor and obey Jehovah.

God certainly won’t bless a stingy giver, but neither will He bless a wrongly motivated one. Televangelists who own multiple multi-million-dollar homes and sport around in Rolls Royces are always quick to promise a blessing to the person who’ll send them a donation. News flash: if they’ve accumulated that much wealth, they don’t need any more contributions. Let them sell off some of their own stuff and use that money to finance their ministry – after all, their viewers are the ones who made all that possible to begin with.

Not only that, but if your motivation for giving is to receive more than you gave, you might as well flush that contribution straight down the toilet. God blesses those who give from the heart. And He knows the intent of every heart. If your giving is for the purpose of getting, then as James 4:3a says it, “you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong.” But if your giving is first and foremost to honor His Name, He will most assuredly bless it.

The rest of Second Chronicles 31 lists the names of those who took charge of all the tithes and offerings coming into the Temple. Some of these men “distributed the gifts among the families of priests in their towns by their divisions, dividing the gifts fairly among old and young alike” (II Chronicles 31:15).

Not all the priests lived in Jerusalem. Priests lived in towns throughout Judah, so it was important to have trustworthy men to see that these men were also given an allotment from the goods pouring into the Temple. Not only did the assigned men do their job responsibly, they did so with absolute impartiality “among the old and young alike.”

“In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God. In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow God’s laws and commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful” (II Chronicles 31:20-21).

Hezekiah was blessed because he did “what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God.” He consciously sought to “follow God’s laws and commands” and he “sought his God wholeheartedly.” That was the key to Hezekiah’s success.

The formula hasn’t changed and it sure wasn’t exclusively for Hezekiah. When any person chooses to live a life seeking to please God wholeheartedly, he, my friends, has aligned himself for blessings.

And just as we saw with the people of Judah, when God’s blessings were bestowed, the recipients didn’t hoard the excess; they simply had more to give away. The entire nation lived under God’s blessing because of the faithfulness of His people.

“God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.” (Billy Graham)

Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates

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