Summary: The attitude & heart that God desires when giving.
The real deal on giving. 1 Kings 17:10-16
J. Paul Getty oil fortune made him one of the world’s first billionaires in the 1900’s (back when a billion was really a billion). But even with all that money, he was notoriously cheap. For example, he’d never be the first to leave a meeting for fear that he’d get stuck with the taxi tab. And in his stately villa in Malibu, he installed pay phones for guests wanting to make a call.
If the truth were know many of us are “Getty-like” when it comes to giving! We’re stingy....miserly....tight fisted!
-The end result, we position ourselves outside of God’s design & will. -That disobedience positions us outside of Gods’ benefit & blessing.
It’s then we sit around & wonder why our finances are in a mess. The answer is easy, if you honor God He will honor you...if you don’t He want!
*In Leviticus 27 God says the tithe is holy & belongs to the Me. *In Malachi 3 He says don’t rob me, bring the tithe into the storehouse. *Jesus said give & it will be given. *Paul what a man sows that shall he reap.
My friend, God desire is that we surrender all to him & that includes our finances. It a matter of commitment.....surrender....Lordship.
Quote: -Martin Luther "I’ve had many things in my hands and I’ve lost them all. But whatever I’ve put in God’s hands I still posses."
This morning as we continue to consider the truth on tithing I want us to consider the attitude & heart that God desires as it relates to our giving.
Set stage: Ahaz bad king. Jezebel bad queen. The nation was steep in baal worship & God has just announced a drought. This was a slap in Ahaz’s face for baal was the god of storms & only he controlled the rain.
1 Kings 17:10-16 10 So he went to Zar-a-fath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it-and die." 13 Elijah said to her, "Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD , the God of Israel, says: ’The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ " 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.
As you think about the circumstances in this story, a drought & famine, this lady wasn’t the best choice to supply Elijah’s needs! -She was a widow! -She was poor.
-She was a woman & a gentile woman at that!
Why not chose a prince or king...perhaps someone who was wealthy? God come on!...surely you can do better than a widow!
Yet God chose this unlikely vessel...I believe for two primary reasons: 1. So that He would get all the glory! 2. So that we would understand that a little is a lot in the hands of God!
God’s ways & wisdom are beyond ours!
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD . "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
Sooooo, what lessons can we learn from this widow on giving?
I. She gave willingly: - She was happy to give! Our text tells us that this woman willingly gave what she had even tough she didn’t have a lot!
Why? Because God has ask her to! Notice verse 9 in our text:
9 "Go at once to Zar-a-fath of Si-don and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."