11 January 2008

Sacrifice and Tithing


So, I started going to this ladies Bible study at my church last night. I’m still not sold on it, but I am sold on being involved in the health of my church body – thus I went. I am also sold on the title of the book; it’s a Beth Moore study called Breaking Free!
I have a natural propensity towards this title due to the fact that I love freedom (I mean I can’t even handle being hugged for too long before I start saying “Help, Help, I’m being oppressed”) and I love people to live life to the fullest – like Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” YAY!!! That verse makes me so happy! So, all that to say, I’m going to Bible Study because I like the Title of the book and I feel like I should be involved by being a healthy part of the ladies in the church.

All that said, I was listening to Beth Moore give her introductory message about the study last night and she was explaining that most of our study would be from Isaiah (which is great!) but when she was reading from chapter 9 it makes mention to the time of the Midianites and Gideon so she took us back to that story for context (which I love). So, she’s reading the story of Gideon and talks about how oppressed they were and how the Midianites camped on their crops to kill everything and how there were too many to count and just how awful life was. Then she comes to the part where the angel of the Lord comes to him and calls him “Mighty Warrior” and then there was this part that I hadn’t remembered from my times reading it before:

Judges 6:18 - 21
18 Please don't go away until I come back. I'll bring my offering and set it down in front of you." The Lord said, "I will wait until you return."
19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat. From more than half a bushel of flour he made bread without using yeast. He put the meat in a basket. In a pot he put soup that was made from the meat. Then he brought all of it and offered it to the Lord under the oak tree.
20 The angel of God spoke to Gideon. He said, "Take the meat and the bread. Place them on this rock. Then pour out the soup." So Gideon did it.
21 The angel of the Lord had a wooden staff in his hand. With the tip of his staff he touched the meat and the bread. Fire blazed out of the rock. It burned up the meat and the bread. Then the angel of the Lord disappeared.

WHAT THE HECK????? Didn’t we just read that the land and the people were so oppressed?! Who is this angel of the Lord to just burn all that food up? Shouldn’t he have said thank you and recognized Gideon’s heart to bless the Lord and then returned the food to Gideon to go bless some starving family with it? That seems like the proper social justice thing to do – right?!

But then I calmed down…

Who are we to tell God how He should use our tithe? I’m very sure that he knew there were people starving while he burned that goat and bread, but he still choose to do as he did. I’m sure Gideon was one of those people who could have used that food too – but God still did it. Now, I’m way more okay with this story because it’s the Angel of the Lord doing this and not some guy who says he “knows what the Lord wants him to do with it”. Because, let’s be honest here, I would totally be upset with a church or a ministry who burned up an offering and didn’t help the people that were right there with them – but in this case, it’s what the Lord wanted to do!!! So, let’s look at this, what looks wrong here is right. So, how are we to know when something feels wrong is really right?! Ahhh – there it is – Gideon was with the Lord! He was talking with him – but the interesting thing is that he Lord did not require this sacrifice of Gideon, saying something straight out like “Sacrifice something to me!” but Gideon wanted to. While I do believe that the Lord does call us to tithe, it is still an area where many people have lots of questions and often don’t start doing it until they have spent time with the Lord and they feel the call.

So, again, as I’m supposed to be listening to Beth Moore speak, I’m lost in this whole train of thought and really what it leads me back to it this: TRUST GOD WITH IT ALL!! I know that every penny I have is his because he provided it for me and yet I want to question what he does with it once I give it to him?! Hmmm, maybe, I do just need to know that God is God and he is trustworthy and he is wise and he works all things together for good for those who love him….

Aslan just came to mind, “He’s good, but he’s not tame”.

God is good , but he may not do what we want or expect him to do, but he is still good.

11 comments:

A. T. Elwer said...

Just re-read this and was thinking, as we come to know Him better, it seems He does less and less of what we "want" Him todo.

A. T. Elwer said...

If we are supposed to be living sacrifices, can we really be opposed to what he wants to do with that sacrifice?

Nathan, Sarah, Liam, Deacon said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. This happens to me, I have these thoughts like..."Why is that OK!!??" (read my comment under Adam's last blog)...it's hard. I am glad to see that I am not the only one out there dealing with this right now! Amazing how we can actually gain strength in seeing that we are not the only ones questioning things...the quote is potent. True, scary, strong, thought provoking, comforting all at the same time.

I am still rolling it around in my mind...

Nathan, Sarah, Liam, Deacon said...

I tagged you on my blog...just so you know. You dont have to do it :o)

Ben & Ruth said...

Good thoughts! I'm reading through a book right now called "Your God is too safe" by Mark Buchanan. I'm really liking it! Totally helping me thank of God as being bigger and better then the box I put him in... You know what I mean...?

If you get a chance check it out.
-Ben

chelsea said...

good stuff, good stuff indeed. do you know kendall payne's music Sarah? There's this song called 'Aslan' that I think you would like....
xooooxochels

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