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“They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments” (Ezra 2:69).
Text: Ezra 2:64-70
Biblical giving is a floodgate to abundant blessing. God gave the precept and the pattern of giving. He equally gave unbeatable example of giving by releasing His only begotten Son to die for the salvation of the world. It is commonly said that givers never lack and that the hand of the giver is always up. God has equally set the pattern of giving. This is giving according to the ability of individuals (2 Corinthians 9:7).
The Bible passage of today talks about the arrival of the first set of returnees from exile in Babylon into Jerusalem, according to the benevolent pronouncement of King Cyrus and the gracious plan of God. Upon the arrival of the Jews in Jerusalem, most of the family heads already living there donated gold, silver and robes for the temple and the priests. Nearly 50,000 Jews returned, including priests, Levites, descendants of Solomon’s officials and other Israelites. They brought along with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.
An important feature about these returnees is that they gave liberally according to their ability. There was no coercion or compulsion. They all gave cheerfully and joyfully. This is a mark of true believers. A sincere child of God does not wait till he or she is coerced before giving for the work of the Lord. Their giving is in appreciation for deliverance from sins and satanic bondage.
The Lord owns us and all that belongs to us. So, as a sign of appreciation of divine ownership, believers should willingly release their time, talents and treasure for God’s use whenever the need arises. More could also be given for crusades, retreats, evangelism outreaches and other gospel campaigns, as well as for the building of the temple of the Lord. But we must do it faithfully and willingly to please the Lord.
Thought for the day
Giving to God is a proof of our love and gratitude to Him.