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Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce | P3-V9

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce;


“Our Father in Heaven … Holy … is Your Name.” When we look from the ground to the stars, the mirror to our scars; the idea of wealth feels real when the value is us. The first of our produce should be a prayer in faith, to God. The value that produces currency, is not money; it’s belief. And so the next time you read the letters on a dollar bill, take notice how we’ve went from “IN GOD WE TRUST” to ‘DIGITAL‘ because that precious reminder of trusting God is long past due. The first of every breath, every thought, every experience, is to honor our Lord and Savior, Christ the Son of God, Jesus. It could be that our children become leaders of the most wealthy on the face of the planet, every person subject to their wisdom, their every decision, but if they have not God? All of the achievements to success and wealth will have amounted to a debt of eternal hell. I thank God for the prayer of grace that has been ever present at the work of the cross, the heart of God; grace that stretches from the eternal east to the eternal west—Gen 3:24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Jesus is our tree of life. There is no amount of wealth that will buy belief, it’s a matter of faith, it is the gift of God in Jesus Christ that canonizes our relationship to God our Father in Heaven (not the Roman Catholic Church or any other Church than the One Jesus said, and upon this rock I’ll build My church Mat 16:18). “Jesus, I trust you.”


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V9) Commentary
II. We must make a good use of our estates, and that is the way to increase them, v. 9, 10. Here is,

  • 1. A precept which makes it our duty to serve God with our estates: Honour the Lord with thy substance. It is the end of our creation and redemption to honour God, to be to him for a name and a praise; we are no other way capable of serving him than in his honour. His honour we must show forth and the honour we have for him. We must honour him, not only with our bodies and spirits which are his, but with our estates too, for they also are his: we and all our appurtenances must be devoted to his glory. Worldly wealth is but poor substance, yet, such as it is, we must honour God with it, and then, if ever, it becomes substantial. We must honour God,
    • (1.) With our increase. Where riches increase we are tempted to honour ourselves (Deu. 8:17) and to set our hearts upon the world (Ps. 62:10); but the more God gives us the more we should study to honour him. It is meant of the increase of the earth, for we live upon annual products, to keep us in constant dependence on God.
    • (2.) With all our increase. As God has prospered us in every thing, we must honour him. Our law will allow a prescription for a modus decimandi-a mode of tithing, but none de non decimando-for exemption from paying tithes.
    • (3.) With the first-fruits of all, as Abel, Gen. 4:4. This was the law (Ex. 23:19), and the prophets, Mal. 3:10. God, who is the first and best, must have the first and best of every thing; his right is prior to all other, and therefore he must be served first. Note, It is our duty to make our worldly estates serviceable to our religion, to use them and the interest we have by them for the promoting of religion, to do good to the poor with what we have and abound in all works of piety and charity, devising liberal things.

Weigh The Meaning Of Value In The Balance

QUESTIONING VALUE

I’ve been thinking A LOT about the significance of “value” for a few weeks now… “what does it mean? How is it defined? When I wake up and decide to drink some water, take in sustenance; I don’t naturally think to myself… “why am I doing this?”. I just do it. But thinking about it now, it feels as though I’m a slave to this…“value system. Things just don’t add up. “Is this our purpose in life?” Wake up and use the restroom, drink water, eat food, calculate your contribution to life and go to work. “Where is the value?”, I wonder. I’ve decided to detach myself from what I think the meaning of value is in the world and take on a different approach. “What if I choose to go to work without earning money?” The idea is to work as though I wasn’t going to receive a paycheck, that may sound stupid but in principle, it’s not. Money is not God, it is a necessary tool of prerogative for not offending the world governed by such a value system (as though it is God). Let me explain.

In the gospel according to Matthew 17:24-27; my understanding from research is that the temple tax collectors came to Capernaum and confronted Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax (that apart from the priests every Jew 20 years and above was required to pay) which is basically contributing to the upkeep of the temple (where God dwells). And seeing how Jesus and the apostles were not considered priests of the temple, they too were required to pay this tax according to the custom of old testament law. However, let’s investigate what Jesus says and does about this temple tax collection considering how Jesus is actually, the ultimate Priest. The power of the priest is found in virtue, not money. Observe…

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25 He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

Now according to google and the coinmill converter, a shekel today is worth 0.29 cents of the United States Dollar. There is so much I want to dive into with this idea of currency, but what fascinates me presently is the measure of value exchange between the Israelite’s and their temple priests collecting this two-drachma tax at that time. According to my research—specifically amazing discoveries—in Exodus 30 and Numbers 3 we find the reason for this contribution to the temple.

11 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.(Exodus 30:11-14)

44 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. 46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” (Numbers 3:44-48)

But why did Jesus make a point to question Peter about the collection of customs? Who are the kings of the earth? And why did Jesus say that the sons are exempt? It sounds to me like Jesus is clarifying a point for Peter to recall later. Are all Israelites exempt from such customs? The answer is yes, but it was not time for that answer to come into fruition yet. The next phrase from Jesus is of most importance because it gives revelation to the meaning of value. “However, so that we do not offend them…“, but why? Why not offend these collectors with the truth about the pointlessness of this contribution?