Two Widows Who Trusted God
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” 1 Chronicles 21:24
It is imperative for believers who are born again by believing in Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to recognize that giving is a spiritual and relational issue with God. In order to truly yield to God’s ownership of our possession, we must evaluate carefully what may be the most telling evidence of our stewardship – the part we give. Just as we decide on what we spend on material things or how much we save, we must also have to decide how much money we will give to God. Even to give nothing is a decision.
Many see the responsibility of giving as a burden. Giving is actually a relational decision. As we continually decide to give, we constantly affirm how much we value our relationship to God as His children. An amazing benefit of giving is that it releases us from real burden of our own financial needs. As we learn to trust God through giving, we can live confidently on what is left because we know that God is taking care of that.
The ultimate outcome is that those who give experience a sense of intimacy with God. Giving becomes worship. Giving becomes a way of saying thanks to God for His grace and promised provision.
Two Widows Who Trusted God.
1. The widow of Zarephath – 860 BC 1 Kings 17:7-14
This passage tells us the story of God providing for a widow. After a 3 1/2 year drought, God sent Elijah to this widow living in financial fears and starvation. Elijah showed up and wanted a drink. She must have had some source of water, so in spite of her own desperate plight, she does the proper oriental thing and aided the traveller. His next request stopped her in her tracks. Bring me bread, he asked. The woman responded, ‘I have no bread. I am about to die with my son and you want me to bring you bread.’
Elijah did not back down on his request. He sets in place a test for this woman’s heart. He says, “don’t be afraid. Go make bread like you said but make mine first.” 1 Kings 17:13 This sounds rather selfish of Elijah but Elijah represents the God of Israel. As God’s representative, Elijah promises her a miracle but she has to make him bread first. She decides to trust God by sharing the little she had by giving to Elijah first. In 1 Kings 17:15-16, the passage shows how it worked out for this woman. God did a miracle. I imagine that life was never quite the same for this woman spiritually. The God Whom she only knew at a distance was now a Divine Provider. He cared personally for her.
It should be no surprise to us that God uses the area of financial giving to test our heart and then to draw us close as we trust and obey Him.
2. The Widow And Jesus At The Temple – AD 30 Mk 12:41-44
The story alludes that worship is not proven by gift or anything external. Worship is what goes in the heart. Jesus doesn’t say anything against the wealthy people who gave at the temple. He doesn’t say that the wealthy were wrongly motivated. However, Jesus noticed a particular widow whose heart was genuinely committed to giving as worship. Jesus makes a divine observation that this woman gave more than the wealthy!
The widow gave the smallest of all imaginable gifts. It was two tiny coins. So on one hand what made a gift remarkable was how small it was. Ironically, what made the gift remarkable to Jesus was how large it was! What made this gift so large was that it was all the money she had. She had every reason not to give. However, she wanted to worship and thus, in the eyes of Jesus, she gave more than those who gave large amounts out of their wealth.
This is how God views giving today. God always sees the sacrifice of giving. That is where the worship of giving really happens. Jesus pointed her out because He recognized the sincerity of her heart. This widow stood through the ages as a model for giving, not simply because of her giving ratio exceeded the others but because the sacrifice indicated a deep love for God. Sacrificial giving is a means of establishing closeness we have with Jesus.
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