Bible Society of South Africa

A New Beginning – Day 10


Bible text(s)

7Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect and honour for them all.

Romans 13:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

9Honour the LORD by making him an offering from the best of all that your land produces. 10If you do, your barns will be filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to be able to store it all.

Proverbs 3:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

18And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!” And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered.

Genesis 14:18-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

God Commands Abraham to Offer Isaac

1Some time later God tested Abraham; he called to him, “Abraham!” And Abraham answered, “Yes, here I am!”

2“Take your son,” God said, “your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me.”

3Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham saw the place in the distance. 5Then he said to the servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there and worship, and then we will come back to you.”

6Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice, and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. As they walked along together, 7Isaac said, “Father!”

He answered, “Yes, my son?”

Isaac asked, “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.” And the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place which God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. He tied up his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he picked up the knife to kill him. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He answered, “Yes, here I am.”

12“Don't hurt the boy or do anything to him,” he said. “Now I know that you honour and obey God, because you have not kept back your only son from him.”

13Abraham looked round and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14Abraham named that place “The LORD Provides”. And even today people say, “On the LORD's mountain he provides.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16“I make a vow by my own name — the LORD is speaking — that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, 17I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. 18All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants — all because you obeyed my command.” 19Abraham went back to his servants, and they went together to Beersheba, where Abraham settled.

The Descendants of Nahor

20Some time later Abraham learnt that Milcah had borne eight children to his brother Nahor: 21Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel, 23Rebecca's father. Milcah bore these eight sons to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24Reumah, Nahor's concubine, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Genesis 22GNBOpen in Bible reader

1Jesus looked round and saw rich people dropping their gifts in the temple treasury, 2and he also saw a very poor widow dropping in two little copper coins. 3He said, “I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others. 4For the others offered their gifts from what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, gave all she had to live on.”

Luke 21:1-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus and Zacchaeus

1Jesus went on into Jericho and was passing through. 2There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycomore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.”

6Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy. 7All the people who saw it started grumbling, “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!”

8Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much.”

9Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham. 10The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Luke 19:1-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

10So now I bring to the LORD the first part of the harvest that he has given me.’

“Then set the basket down in the LORD's presence and worship there. 11Be grateful for the good things that the LORD your God has given you and your family; and let the Levites and the foreigners who live among you join in the celebration.

Deuteronomy 26:10-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

Man is very creative in thinking out ways to honour people and costs to do so are not spared. Speeches, statues, plinths engraved with names of worthy recipients, streets named after prominent persons and even the Nobel Prize, are but some of the various ways of how someone can be honoured.

Yet we struggle to honour the incomparable achiever, peacemaker and giver, – the only God – in an easily executable, simple and economic manner as spelt out in the Word. Proverbs 3: 9-10 teaches: “Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”

Cain & Abel brought offerings to God. Tithes are discussed after Abram’s victory in freeing Lot. After the victory Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God, met with Abram, blessed him and gave him bread and wine. Deeply aware that he was dealing with someone who was greater than himself, Abram honoured the king by giving him a tenth of all the goods that he had recovered through his victory. (Genesis 14:18-20). He did not give because one or other law demanded that he do so, but in humble recognition of the king of Salem, who; “…was priest of God Most High…” (Genesis 14:18).

Abraham’s faith in, and respect for God, is also the motivation for his willingness to sacrifice his promised child to God (Genesis 22). A poor widow gives all she owns to honour God (Luke 21:1-4) and a wealthy tax collector ‘s life is so changed by his encounter with Jesus, that in gratitude he gives away and refunds, what he unjustly took. (Luke 19:1-10).

You and I also need to honour God for whom he is. He is the God of light, the God of love, the giver of good gifts and our provider. Our worship must be a consequence of our gratitude that he is involved in our lives. If we do not know how to do so, Deuteronomy 26:10-11 spells it out for us. Firstly, “and now I bring the first fruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Secondly, “Place the basket before the Lord your God…”. Thirdly, “… bow down before him …”. The attitude, in which we must do so, is spelled out: “…you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.13.12
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