November 20, Empty-Handed
Today’s reading: Psalms 96-100
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts” - Psalm 96:8.
When the Lord instituted the concept of an offering, it was not because He needed anything from mankind. It was simply to make mankind mindful that all he had came from the Lord. At the same time, the offerings were used to support and feed the priests who carried out their priestly duties according to the ordinances of the Lord. Nothing has changed today, for God still requires that you come to Him with offerings, which keep you grounded in the knowledge that it is not your efforts that feed you — it is the Lord who provides. Such was the importance of the offering to the Lord that these were His instructions for the Jewish festivals when men came to Jerusalem:
“Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed. Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you” (Deuteronomy 16:16-17).
Do you appear before the Lord empty-handed? Do you give the Lord something of substance, or just a few pennies according to what you have left over? Do you see that your giving is an act of worship, and not an economic transaction?