Our Giving God
Genesis 12:7;Revelation 21:6
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is
a liberal Giver, and by His liberal gifts He increases His wealth,
for praises shall return to Him as gifts -- "sacrifices
of praise" -- in the eternity to come.
An old preacher used to say, when addressing
God in prayer, "Giving doth not impoverish Thee, and withholding
doth not make Thee rich."
When man was first placed upon the earth, the
whole creation over and around him bore witness that God was a
beneficent Giver (Ps. 19:1-6). Then, His providential care over
His creatures since has borne similar testimony. "He left
not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us
rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with
food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). And further, when the
truth of the New Testament shines upon us with its marvelous splendor,
we read of His "unspeakable free Gift"; and again
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life" (John 3:16). And this is in the direct
line of Genesis 3:15, where Christ, the woman's "Seed"
was promised; and in John 3:16, Christ, the Son, is given.
Then, as we glance at the life of Abraham, we
observe a similar lesson upon giving. The God of glory appeared
to him in the land of the Chaldeans, at a time when his father's
house was worshipping idols, and Abram received a distinct call
to leave that land of his nativity and go to a land to which he
was a total stranger, and he received the promise of that land
as a possession for himself and his seed forever. It is recorded
that Abraham obeyed--"the obedience of faith"--and
came into that land. Then we further read that the Lord appeared
to him again in the land and confirmed His promise to the man
of faith, a further proof that God ever delights to give (Genesis
12:1-7; Acts 7:2-8; Heb. 11:8-19.)
Thus we see that the line of promise which began
with Genesis 3:15 and continued in Genesis 12, runs through the
whole Word of God until Revelation 21:6. In Genesis 12, we read,
"unto Thy seed I will give this land," and in Revelation
21, "I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain
of the water of life freely."
The believer lives by asking and receiving. It
is the creature's place to receive, as it is the Creator's place
to give. The one possession man has is need, and God has all we
need; is abundantly able to give to each one what they need from
and of His infinite fullness. Believers are to walk in the attitude
of receivers of God's fullness, constant receivers; not dependent
for a time and then independent for any part of the time, but
always fully relying upon Him. This attitude of dependence and
trust means peace of soul, rest in the fullness of God. It means
the consciousness that we shall not want; "Jehovah is my
Shepherd; I shall not want." It means that we do not think
of our weakness, but of His strength; nor of our emptiness, but
of His fullness.
We have not to think of ourselves at all, but
can refer every need, every perplexity, every strait to Him; can
at once turn to Him with all that is a care, a trouble, a difficulty,
and leave it with Him. That is our path of light through this
world. Believing in Him, we do not take a step in darkness. Doubting
Him, all is dark.
Take the Israelites as an example of doubters.
In Exodus 6, we have God speaking to Moses, telling him what He
will do, based upon what He has already done; sending a message
of comfort and assurance to the people, ending with the words,
"I will give it (the Land of Promise) you for an heritage."
But were they cheered and comforted by this message from Jehovah?
Did it lift their burden? Not at all. "And Moses spoke so
unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses
for anguish of spirit, and for cruel ." They were
slaves under the taskmasters of Egypt, their troubles kept them
from God because of their unbelief; but these miseries should
have brought them to God in faith. Moses' message from Jehovah
should have caused joy and brought comfort in their sorrows, but
because of their unbelief, they got no good from it at all. God's
"I will give" meant nothing to them; all His precious
"I wills" in Ex. 6:6-8 meant nothing of help or deliverance.
How different would these "I wills" have sounded
if they had possessed faith. They could have gone about their
tasks in the assurance that in a short time God would deliver
them from their slavery. They could have gone to their rest at
night feeling sure that a few days more and they would be on the
way to their own Land, rather God's glorious Land (Dan. 11:16,
41). So far as their receiving present help from God's words,
He might not have spoken at all. Think of what a vast difference
faith in God makes as to whether we receive help from God's promises,
His "I will give."
When God says, "I will give," or
"I will do," speaking to each of us, do we rest upon
it? count upon it? receive comfort and peace from it? God speaks
to us in His Book, gives us His message, it may be through Moses,
or David, or Isaiah, or Paul, or even Christ speaking the "Words
of God" (John 3:34). The Israelites "hearkened not
unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel ."
Should we let anything keep us from hearkening to the precious
words which God is speaking to us by His Son and His servants?
His words are for us to live by now: "Man doth not live
by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of the Lord doth man live" (Deut 8:3). Do you live by His
words day by day?
God kept every one of His promises to Israel:
"Ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that
not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord
your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you,
and not one thing hath failed thereof" (Josh. 23:14). The Israelites
for all this goodness of God to them all the way from Egypt to
Canaan had no praise in their hearts to Him, except twice when
it is recorded that they sang in Ex. 15:1-21, and in Num. 21:17,
18. But, even then, it is recorded in Ex. 15:24 that "the
people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?"
So little were they impressed by the deliverance from Egypt.
What an entirely different
journey would they have had if they had kept God's promises in
Ex. 6 before them. It was only "when He slew them, then
they sought Him; and they returned and sought early after God;
And they remembered that God was their Rock, and God, the Most
High, their Redeemer. But they flattered Him with their mouth,
and lied unto Him with their tongue. For their heart was not firm
toward Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant"
(Ps. 78:34-37; read also verses 38-43, 52-58). It is a sad record
of man's unbelief. Only once in all the years from Egypt to Canaan,
is it recorded that, "Then believed they His words; they
sang His praises." But even then, in the next verse it had
to be written: "They soon forgot His works; they waited
not for His counsel" (Ps. 106: 12, 13). They even "despised
the pleasant Land, they believed not His Word" (verses 24,
25). It is a sad record of the unbelief of man, but a wonderful
record of the goodness and mercy of God.
He gave to them, kept giving
because He had promised to give; He led Moses to intercede for
them, so that they were not all destroyed at once, verse 23. God's
"I will give" followed them all the way, as it is
following every one of us. Are we resting upon it in faith all