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Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing - Religion - Nairaland

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Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:47pm On Jul 14, 2014
Genesis 20 verses 20-22 that is significant to what I’m going to develop here, so I’ll quote it for you. This is what he says.

"Then Jacob made a vow, saying, Since God is with me to keep me in this course of life that He has promised and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear and will bring me back to my father’s house in safety, the Lord will be my God. And this stone which I have set as a monument will be the house of God and of all the increase You give me I will surely give the tenth to You."

In addition to the obvious reference to the tithe in the last part of this statement, I want you to notice the first part where it says, "Then Jacob made a vow". The word for vow here is neder and means "promise". This word is used to illustrate the conditions of a covenant. In other words, when you look at this passage it is Jacob’s response to the covenant God reaffirmed with him earlier. What has to be understood is that God’s covenants were never without conditions or requirements. It’s the same as what I’ve said so many times before; God never offers anything unconditionally. There are always conditions to be met, requirements to be fulfilled. There is never a free ride where God is concerned. If you want what He offers, you must do what He says. In this passage Jacob is following his grandfather’s example, committed to keeping what was required on his part in a covenant agreement with God.

The very idea of a covenant makes this obvious. A covenant (the Hebrew term is berith, and means agreement or stipulation) is not an unconditional, one-sided promise; instead, it’s a conditional agreement under which both parties involved have responsibilities. In the passage above Jacob confirms his understanding of this when he says, essentially, since God is going to do thus and so, I’m going to hold up my part of the bargain and do what I’m supposed to do. Which brings us back to what I said earlier; those who choose to enter into covenant with God for His deliverance are not free of responsibility, and giving to Him is part of the deal. Adam understood it, Cain and Abel understood it; Abraham understood it; and Jacob understood it too.

To be continued.......

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Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:49pm On Jul 14, 2014
Let’s look at Psalms 50 [/b]and you can see what I mean. Since this is a long passage, I’ll not quote it all. This is a prophetic Psalm of Asaph and reveals the heart and mind of God on the subject at hand. [b]And, by the way, when I say this is a prophetic Psalm, I don’t mean that it foretells future events. It’s prophetic because it proclaims and interprets the Divine will and purpose, always the primary function of the prophetic.


This is verse 1. "The Mighty One, God the Lord has revealed Himself to the earth and summons them to respond to His call, from the rising of the sun to the time it sets." In this opening verse God speaks to the earth, revealing Himself and His purpose, and then He summons them to respond. The word translated "revealed" above ("hath spoken" in the KJV) is dhavar, one of the most generic words in the Old Testament. It can mean either mental or oral communication and is translated into about 30 different English words in the KJV. Obviously, the meaning is determined by the context. When God reveals Himself to the inhabitants of the earth, it usually means one thing – He’s revealing His will and purpose so we can know Him and have relationship with Him. And that will and purpose always comes in the form of a covenant agreement.

To be continued...................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:50pm On Jul 14, 2014
Then, "summons" above ("called" in the KJV) is qara. The basic meaning of this word is "the pronouncement of a specific message, to a specific recipient in order to elicit a specific response". I guess the key word here is "specific". In other words, this Psalm is about a particular, definitive message God had been speaking and the fact that He expected a response to that message. And further, the last part of the verse about the rising and setting of the sun is used to illustrate the fact that He had been doing this continuously.

And I have to stop here and say this verse is another of many that illustrates the reality of just what a personal relationship with God is all about. God communicates with man, revealing Himself and His message with the desire and expectation that man will respond to what He has said. This is two-way communication, an example of the personal involvement and participation of God in the lives of men. Those who say they have a "personal" relationship with God, but only participate in religious forms and rituals are deceiving themselves. God has always wanted us to have a personal relationship with Him and the reality of that relationship is always found in revelation regarding His will and purpose; relationship with God void of revelation is not really relationship at all, it’s religion.

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:51pm On Jul 14, 2014
The next couple of verses tell us that God intends to judge the earth. His judgment will be fair, accurate, in your face, destructive and disastrous. And because of the context, you can be sure His judgment will be based on man’s response (or lack of it) to the covenant messages that had been given.

This brings us to verse 5. "Gather together those who have responded to My grace, those who have entered into covenant with Me by their offerings." Most translations have "saints" where you see "those who have responded to my grace" in the translation above. The word is chasid, and is used to describe those who have answered God’s summons with submission and obedience. They are then described in the next phrase as those who have entered into covenant with God by holding up their end of the bargain. And how did they do that? They gave offerings to Him. The word is "sacrifice" in most translations. The Hebrew word is zevach and is a word that came from the verb zavach, which means, "to slaughter or kill", but came to be used in the Old Testament as a general term to designate any type of offering given to God. I’ll say it again, Adam understood it, Cain and Abel understood it, Abraham understood it, Jacob understood it, and now the Psalmist makes it clear that he understood it as well. Giving is part of the deal.

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:52pm On Jul 14, 2014
Verse 6 tells us the heavens will testify to the accuracy and fairness of God’s judgment. Then in verse 7 God says He has something to say against Israel and reminds them that He’s not just God, He’s their God. And in verse 8 He begins to explain what He has against them by saying, "I’m not going to argue with you about the sacrifices and burnt offerings that were to have been brought continually to Me." In most translations you’ll see "reprove" where I say, "argue". The word yakhach comes from a root that means, "to be right" and by implication means, "to argue or dispute". In other words, God isn’t going to argue about the fact that they were supposed to have been giving offerings to Him, but hadn’t; He’s always right. That’s why He’s God. He goes on to explain that He doesn’t require offerings because He needs them (verse 9), that, in fact, every animal that exists already belongs to Him (verse 10), that He knows every bird that flies and every wild animal that exists (verse 11), that He’s not hungry, and even if He was, everything in the world that satisfies hunger is already His (verse 12) and that He’s not looking for something to eat (verse 13).

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:54pm On Jul 14, 2014
Then God makes a statement in verses 14 and 15 that confirms just what is involved in keeping covenant with Him. "Bring your offerings to Me and be thankful, pay your vows to the Most High. Then you can call on Me when trouble comes, I’ll rescue you and you can honor Me." Most translations start verse 14 with "offer" instead of "bring your offerings". The verb is zavach mentioned above where the noun form zevach is found in verse 5. Zavach is always used to describe offerings that were brought at the expense of the individual. As we’ll see in a later discussion, only healthy, valuable animals, the best flour, the best oil or wine and the purest spices for incense could be offered to God. Here God is telling them to do what they’ve been instructed to do and be thankful for the opportunity. The statement about being thankful goes straight to the matter of proving in a personal, practical way that relationship with God and spiritual matters are important, valuable, and worth paying a price to obtain, something I’ll say more about later. And when He tells them to pay their vows, the word isneder, the same word mentioned earlier in the passage about Jacob making a vow. Neder describes the conditions or requirements of a covenant.

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:55pm On Jul 14, 2014
Psalm 50 presents two perspectives of covenant. The first is covenant as it relates to time; the second is covenant as it relates to eternity. Verses 14 and 15 are talking about covenant in time. If you’re holding up your end of the bargain (paying your vows), then God promises to take care of you in time. This is an aspect of giving that is a recurring theme in Scripture. We’ll see it several times before this paper is finished. When we get to the last verse (23) of this Psalm, we’ll see what God says about covenant as it relates to eternity.

The next 7 verses (16-22) are directed towards the "wicked", those who have forsaken or rejected God’s covenant offer. And, for your consideration, the New Testament equivalent to this Old Testament covenant offer is "grace". If you’ve read the paper "Grace, Faith and Salvation", then you may remember that in it I explain why "grace" is not "unconditional favor" as religion likes to define it. "Grace" is our opportunity to pursue God and know Him; but it’s clear that pursuit must be undertaken according to the conditions God requires. And the process of meeting those requirements and experiencing God as a result is "faith". Abraham knew God by faith (his experiences with God that came as a result of his submission and obedience), not by what he read in books or heard in sermons. Abraham’s "faith" certainly had nothing to do with a denominational statement of doctrinal beliefs.

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:57pm On Jul 14, 2014
Verses 16 and 17 go something like this. "But to the wicked God says, What right do you have to recite in detail what is due Me or talk about My covenant? You disregard My instruction and treat My words like trash."And in the next couple of verses He accuses them of giving their approval to the hurtful, sinful actions of others, of being evil and deceitful and of making false accusations against others for their own gain. Then we come to verses 21 and 22. "All these things you have done. And because I was silent, you thought I approved. But I will come and rebuke you to your face. Think this over carefully those of you who forget God, I’m coming to tear you in pieces and no one can save you."

The Psalm then ends with God’s statement regarding the perspective of covenant as it relates to eternity. This is verse 23. "Those who bring their offerings to Me and are thankful for the opportunity understand the value of what I have to offer. And the one who lives in this way I will show the salvation of God." The key words used in the beginning of this verse are the same as those in verse 14 above. They are zavach (to bring an offering) andtodah (thankfulness). Then, where most translations have "glorifies", I use "understand the value". The word is kavad and in this context means, "to esteem or highly value".

To be continued.........................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 2:58pm On Jul 14, 2014
Giving helps us keep things in proper perspective as we pursue God. God knows that, and that’s why He requires it. That’s why it’s part of the deal. Think about it. At the beginning of this paper I said giving is a foundational principle. Are there other foundational principles? What about suffering? It’s a foundational principle. Suffering is essential. It keeps us from thinking we’re invincible and makes it difficult for us to delude ourselves into thinking we’re in total control of our lives. Suffering is part of the deal.

What about the requirement of forgiving others to obtain the Father’s forgiveness? This is another foundational principle. It keeps us from becoming arrogant, self-centered and insensitive. We have to have that. God knows it, that’s why it’s part of the deal. What about discipline and correction? Should they be optional? Of course not! They’re foundational. We absolutely need God to train us so we can understand His righteousness and justice. How else would we know them? Our flesh wants nothing to do with any of those things. I could go on, there are others; but you get the idea.

Now, why are they foundational? Why are they necessary? Because they force us to deal with our flesh, they force us to reject our flesh. In reality, they’re God’s way of giving us the opportunity to kill our flesh. Remember what deliverance (salvation) is? God wants to change us from what we are into who He is. He wants to conform us to the image of His Son. He wants us to be partakers of His nature, to share in Who He is and what He does. That’s His covenant offer, His conditional promise. And He promises to do His part, but only if we’re willing to submit to what He requires.

To be continued...............
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by adanduka: 3:00pm On Jul 14, 2014
I believe you can summarize in simple, straight to the point words
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 3:00pm On Jul 14, 2014
And while I’m here let me mention one more thing before we move on. The very reason I bring up the idea that giving is only one of several foundational principles is to let everyone know that even though it’s important, it does not stand alone as the only thing that’s required. I say this because there are those who really don’t mind giving, but tend to think that as long as they’re doing that, they don’t have to do anything else! This is where I give you the verse that affirms tithing in the New Testament. I can kill two birds with one stone. Let me quote you the verse, then I’ll explain. This is Matthew 23:23.
"Woe to you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! You’re careful to give a tenth of your mint and dill and cumin, but you neglect the more difficult things that are required, such as justice, mercy and faith. These are what you should be careful to do without neglecting the other."

OK. First of all, let me point out that Jesus is confirming the fact that tithing is something that ought to be done. Here’s your New Testament verse. It was never Jesus’ purpose to do away with anything that had already been established by the eternal God Who does not change (Numbers 23:19,Malachi 3:6, James 1:17). He came to add to what had already been established, make it complete and finish it (Matthew 5:17). So, here He affirms that tithing is something that is still required.

But at the same time He makes it clear that tithing is not the only thing. In fact, He identifies tithing as one of the easier things when compared to justice, mercy and faith. Let’s look at this a little more closely so we can get a better perspective on what Jesus is saying. We can start by breaking down these three words. "Justice" is krisis and means, "a separation". It’s used to illustrate the process of separating right from wrong with an emphasis on doing what is right in our actions towards others. "Mercy" is eleos, used to describe a concern for the misery of others that has come as a result of their lack of submission and obedience to God, and must be accompanied with a willingness to help. And "faith" is pistis, the on-going action of experiencing God as a result of submission and obedience to Him.

To be continued..................
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by adanduka: 3:01pm On Jul 14, 2014
I believe you can summarize with simple, straight to the point words.
Thank you!
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 3:02pm On Jul 14, 2014
So, what’s Jesus saying here? Tithing is a principle that should be followed. It’s the right thing to do. In the above translation you see "more difficult things" where the word "weightier matters" is found in the KJV. "Weightier" is the comparative degree, neuter plural of barus and is used to illustrate the fact that tithing is easy compared to the other things mentioned. And hold on to the seat of your pants, if you don’t, you might go through the roof when you read the next sentence. If tithing is the easy thing, what does that say about the spiritual condition of those who don’t tithe? If they can’t do what’s easy, how can they ever do what’s more difficult? Jesus talks about this in one of His parables and we’ll look at it towards the end of this paper.

Now, I hope I’ve at least established that giving or tithing is a valid, foundational principle. The next question is, since we serve an unseen God, to whom do we give our tithes and offerings? There is a short answer to that; but I’m not partial to short answers, so I’ll give you the long one instead. Actually, the short answer is, the priest. The long answer is an explanation of the development of the priesthood. The function of the priest has remained constant over time from Adam until now. The priest represents God before the people and the one thing that validates the priesthood is revelation, which I’ll talk about a little later.

In the Old Testament the first priests were heads of the family, the first-born male. Adam was the first priest, and though details are sketchy, it remains to be seen whether or not he, Eve or firstborn son Cain benefited from his priesthood and the revelation God had given him. However, Jesus tells us Abel, his second-born, was a righteous man (Matthew 23:35). It’s clear from what we see in the record that Noah functioned as the family priest (Genesis 8:20-21). It’s also clear that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were family priests. You should remember from the paper "Walking With God" that Jacob stole the right to be the family priest from his older brother Esau, who had no interest in it, then carried out his priestly duties with God’s blessing (Genesis 25:29-34, 27:1-46, 35:1-15 with Hebrews 12:16-17). Job, a contemporary and most likely a personal acquaintance of Moses, was a family priest (Job 1:1-5, 4:3-4). I’ve alluded to the family priest in earlier papers in my mention of Jethro, the priest of Midian. Jethro, a direct descendant of Abraham through his son Midian (Genesis 25:1-6), taught Moses the ways of God during those 40 years Moses spent in the desert in preparation for the task of leading Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 2:15-16, 3:1).

End

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Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 3:03pm On Jul 14, 2014
adanduka: I believe you can summarize with simple, straight to the point words.
Thank you!

Thanks for the advice, will see if i will be able to do that in subsequent posts, and then attach the link!
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 7:32am On Jul 15, 2014
Psalms 50 verse 23. "Those who bring their offerings to Me and are thankful for the opportunity understand the value of what I have to offer. And the one who lives in this way I will show the salvation of God."
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 7:29am On Jul 16, 2014
Verses 16 and 17 go something like this. "But to the wicked God says, What right do you have to recite in detail what is due Me or talk about My covenant? You disregard My instruction and treat My words like trash."
Re: Psalms 50 - Reveals The Heart And Mind Of God On Giving/tithing by Elijah78: 9:23am On Jul 18, 2014
God speaks to the earth, revealing Himself and His purpose, and then He summons them to respond. When God reveals Himself to the inhabitants of the earth, it usually means one thing – He’s revealing His will and purpose so we can know Him and have relationship with Him. And that will and purpose always comes in the form of a covenant agreement. God communicates with man, revealing Himself and His message with the desire and expectation that man will respond to what He has said. This is two-way communication, an example of the personal involvement and participation of God in the lives of men. Giving helps us keep things in proper perspective as we pursue God. God knows that, and that’s why He requires it. That’s why it’s part of the deal. There is never a free ride where God is concerned. If you want what He offers, you must do what He says.

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