In times of great need, it’s hard not to be afraid. It’s even harder to be generous. Today’s scripture in 2 Kings tells us about an Old Testament miracle of generosity
2 Kings 4: 42-44
Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the Lord: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’ ” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.” (NKJV)
If you’re like me, you’ve heard the story of the feeding of the 5,000 many times. It’s “the only miracle (apart from the resurrection) which is present in all four (of the) Gospels.”* This miracle in 2 Kings may not be quite as impressive, but it’s still powerful.
There was a famine going on and people still gave Elisha their “firstfruits.” They understood the importance of generosity to God.
Elisha also understood the importance of generosity to others. He could have kept the bread for himself and his friends. But, he chose to share what he was given.
Not only did they all eat, but they had leftovers. God awards generosity with provision.
We can’t afford to be stingy with God, nor with others. If we don’t share what we have, we may be well-off financially, but we will be poor in spirit.
Giving is a spiritual principle you can’t afford to ignore. (tweet that) It starts by giving first to God. No matter what our financial status or income, God gets the firstfruits.
Giving to God first starts a chain of generosity that begins in our hearts.
When we make up our minds to honor God first and turn our hearts and finances over to Him, God provides for us. (tweet that)
Not only that, once we have become accustomed to giving, our hearts, wallets, and kitchens open up to others. Our eyes see other’s needs and we give. Our love outweighs our fear. What a wonderful way to live; both for God and for others.
Don’t live in fear, give first to God and see what happens to your finances and your heart. Not only will you have enough to give to others, but you’ll have the heart to give as well.
Be a miracle of generosity!
*. “Feeding the Multitude” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feeding_the_multitude
Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Concise) http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-concise/2-kings/4.html?p=2
- Becoming More for Others (onlovinggod.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Homily July 29, 2012, 17th Ordinary Time B (johnstackministries.typepad.com)
- Audio Readings July 29, 2012 Sunday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time (sacredheartcatholicchurchcrosbytexas.wordpress.com)
- (Tithing.Com) http://www.tithing.com/blog/bible-verses-about-tithes/