It had been many generations since the people of God had served Him; since their hearts had worshipped Him fully. But a new king was on the throne and Hezekiah was leading the people back to God.
After he instructed the priests and Levites to clean out the temple of all the ungodly idols, he called them to celebrate the Passover. For many who came, it was their first time. And they found it refreshing, renewing, restoring; a generation of true hearts returning to the Lord
There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem,
for nothing like this was known
since the days of Solomon
son of David, the king of Israel.
Then the priests and the Levites
stood to bless the people,
and God heard their voice,
and their prayer came
into His holy dwelling place in heaven.
2 Chronicles 31:26-27 HCSB
And in this celebration, a connection was made. The people realized what worship was all about... giving hearts fully to God. So Hezekiah encouraged them to tithe; to be obedient and give the first tenth of all they had, showing that they trusted God with the rest. All that was given was for the priests and Levites who gave their lives to service; who had no income otherwise.
This act of obedience was as difficult to understand then as it is for us now. How can we give the first of what we have... before we pay our bills? And why does it matter? Can't we just take care of our budget, then give God some after?
But that's not faith... that's not what God asks of us.
God wants us to show our devotion to Him by giving the very first, trusting that He will make the ninety percent go farther than the one-hundred ever could.
And look what He did for the Levites and priests. For it sounds much like what Jesus did with the boy's lunch in the feeding the five-thousand. When all the people gave generously and obediently from their hearts, King Hezekiah asked the priests about the pile of things in the temple. Basically inquiring if it was enough.
He learned that the pile was actually the leftovers. That the priests and Levites had already been fed... they had taken what they needed and were satisfied and now these were the leftovers.
We serve a mighty God of multiplication. We need not fear lack, shortage or poverty when we have willing hearts toward obedience. If we will give the first of... well, let's be honest, what He gave us, then He can multiply it for the purpose He intended. And also multiply what we have left so that it satisfies and is more than enough.
Our God can always bring Abundance from Obedience!
What a mighty God we serve!
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