Stewardship Bible - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blessed to Be a Blessing

2 Samuel 5:12; 6:18–19

As 2 Samuel 5:12 makes clear, the blessings David enjoys are from God’s grace and for the Israelite people—as opposed to being from his own labor or for his personal pleasure, glory or self-gratification. Second Samuel 6 continues the theme of the people being blessed by what God has done for and through David. David’s worship and sacrifice are not merely vertical (between himself and God) but also horizontal (between himself and other people). He shares his blessings with God’s people, giving to others in celebration of God’s goodness to him. We see this horizontal sacrifice most fully, of course, in David’s greater son, Jesus, who was blessed by God so he might be generous to others—even unto death. Based on his example, we too are to give liberally and ungrudgingly.

Stewardship writer John E. Simpson (1889–1981) considers David’s stewardship from a unique angle, reflecting on who this man of God was as revealed in a sampling of his psalms. With reference to Psalm 96:4–9, this author comments:

Love that is genuine is never content with praise alone. It seeks out a gift to bestow on the object of its love. Every engagement ring is an evidence of this fact. Our love for God falls short if its only gift is in words of praise … Of a truth, giving and worship are bound together by our love for God.

Psalm 116, notes Simpson, is a song of God’s goodness.

In it David tells of God’s grace and mercy … Surely such a God places one deeply in his debt … [A]ssuming that such benefaction requires a return, David asks what it shall be. Two things are suggested: one is to accept the overflowing cup of God’s gracious gifts, and the other to pay (literally) what David has vowed. This, David says, will be done in the presence of God’s people, that they may know his gratitude to God.

In Psalm 24, notes this author, God is depicted as maintaining

the controlling interest of the earth with all its fullness. This is shown by the fact that he has founded it upon things that abide, the floods and the seas, which have endured for eons. Man is transient; God is eternal. Here is a “joint ownership” in which God is always the “surviving Partner.” Moreover, an age-long promise assures the blessing which he has prepared for his children. Thus Isaiah could say, “[No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.]”

It has been well said, observes Simpson, that “the sum of all heresies is to say, ‘This is mine.’ Rather must the Christian say, ‘This is ours.’” In the final analysis, the blessings God showers on his church and people are for the good of all humanity.

Think About It

  • What blessings from God are yours?
  • In what ways do you praise God for his blessings?
  • How do the gifts you bring to God bless others?

Pray About It

Father, thank you for all you have given to me. Thank you most of all for your love and for your gift of Jesus.

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