A Good Use of Money
Money is associated with so many negative things. If you have money it brings anxiety over losing it some way. If you don’t have much money it creates anxiety because you don’t know how the needs of your family will be met. If you love money you will do anything to get more of it even if it is unhealthy for you. If you are greedy you don’t want to share it with anyone. If you steal it your name is ruined and you must repay. If you buy a lottery ticket you waste time and money dreaming about winning a lot of it. If you store it up it gives a false sense of security. If you earn a lot of it you can become arrogant thinking it’s because I am so smart and hardworking that I have all this money. If we use it to compare ourselves with others we become either arrogant, jealous, or depressed depending on where you rank. The government takes it so it can redistribute it to causes or people you don’t care to support. Can anything good come from money?
Praise God there is at least one good thing that can come from money and it is found in Proverbs 3:9-10 (ESV) 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Praise God, it is possible to honor God with money! This is a good use of money!
Wealth in the Bible is money that is stored in some commodity. For example, wealth was measured in property owned, or livestock on the hoof (number of sheep and goats), or grain in a barn, or wine in vats, or jars of olive oil, or coins made of precious metals. Firstfruits were the first agricultural produce of the season which typically are the best of the crop or new livestock. In 2017 wealth is measured in property owned, money in bank accounts, and stocks held all of which is reduced to a dollar amount. We measure firstfuits from our incomes by ensuring that giving is a priority in our budgets and making sure that all we plan to give, we in fact give.
The book of Proverbs is written to help guide our choices in life by telling or illustrating for us, which are the best choices to make and to describe the character of the people making those choices. Honoring the Lord with our money is a great choice to make. But, what is the character of the person who honors the Lord with giving? Verse 9 describes a generous person who is trusting the Lord! He gives from both his wealth and his firstfruits. He gives from both what he has stored up and from the current crop. This describes a generous person! He is also trusting God that his barns will be filled with plenty and his vats will burst with new wine. God is very generous with us and He desires that we be like Him.
How can we make our giving honor God? It’s simple. Be generous and trust God.
Here are some cross references to consider. 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Philippians 4:15-19; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
(image: By Nevit Dilmen (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11321234)