The leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed, so the leaders offered their offering before the altar. Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Let them present their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar.' Now the one who presented his offering on the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah; and his offering was one silver dish whose weight was one hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; one bull, one ram, one male lamb one year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, five male lambs one year old. This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
If tithes and alms are different, so are tithes and offerings. Derek Prince* puts it this way: 'We really do not offer our tithe to God, because it is His legal portion. But beyond our tithe, what we give is offerings.'
In the Old Testament, offerings were different for different purposes--kind of like our prayers today. But I think we're forgetting something. It's what my mother told me to do when I visited a friend: 'Don't show up empty-handed.'
That idea came from God. 'None shall appear before Me empty-handed' (Exodus 23:15).
Therefore, 'Give to the Lord the glory due His Name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness' (Psalm 96:8-9).
Here's a Biblical truth: God observes our offerings. He meticulously records them person-by-person in the annals of Heaven. If you think today's key Scripture is long, that was just one person. Check out the whole chapter of Numbers 7:1-89.
Could these recordings be like bank deposits with God? Does God have an account in your name? Could these be among the treasures 'Reserved in Heaven for you' (1 Peter 1:4)?
I say 'Yes' and the super-givers among us will become super-rich. But not by the amount they give as much as the percentage of the sacrifice. God is perfectly fair, and Jesus illustrates both His careful observation and the principle behind it.
'And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent' (Mark 12:41-42).
'For all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had' (Luke 21:4).
Yes, we are supposed to come into His presence with thanksgiving and praise--both in prayer time and in church time: 'Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise' (Psalm 100:4). That's a given.
But the physicality of God is as true as Jesus walking the earth. It's as true as man being created in God's Image, or the church as His bride having four walls. Therefore, the physical representation of our love, reverence and devotion is not only the power of our words:
'Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name' (Hebrews 13:15)...
It is also the sacrifice of our dollars and cents. That's called an offering. In God's case our good cents make good sense and bring great rewards.
To Be Continued...
*I reference and recommend this Derek Prince teaching: 'God's Plan For Your Money.' It is short, straight-forward and scripturally rich. I believe every Christian should read it. http://www.derekprince.org/Shop/Search.aspx?q=money&in=1000003350&search_subsections=True
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Show Me The Money series.