S (Scripture): Psalm 50:
7 God says: “Listen my people! I am speaking! Listen Israel! I am accusing you! I am God, your God!
8 I am not condemning you because of your sacrifices, or because of your burnt sacrifices that you continually offer me.
9 I do not need to take a bull from your household or goats from your sheepfolds.
10 For every wild animal in the forest belongs to me, as well as the cattle that graze on a thousand hills.
11 I keep track of every bird in the hills, and the insects of the field are mine.
12 Even if I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all it contains belong to me.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls? Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Present to God a thank-offering! Repay your vows to the sovereign One!
15 Pray to me when you are in trouble! I will deliver you, and you will honor me!”
O (Observation): God is declaring the usefulness of the offerings given in worship to God. Does God actually eat and drink of the offerings? No. Is an offering still good to give? Yes.
Even if God was ever hungry or thirsty, God could, at any time, take a sip from a river or snatch a deer from the forest, because everything already belongs to God. God doesn’t “need” that offering to eat or drink. And maybe God’s people kind of forgot that aspect of the offering.
So instead of bringing an offering simply out of obligation, perhaps the offerings could be focused on giving thanks to God!
God doesn’t just want something FROM the people…God wants something FOR the people. God wants them to know that they can all cast their joys and sorrows on the Lord. Giving an offering is one way to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in their lives, and so giving an offering is not void of usefulness.
A (Application): We give offerings at church these days. On a practical level, this helps us operate and offer worship, programs, pastoral care, etc. Funny thing is, ALL of these can be done without a church building, without a pastor, without lots of the stuff that goes with being a church.
Yet, we see much fruitfulness in coming together in a specific place with specific programs and specific leaders. Quite the paradox.
In either case…with all of these things I just mentioned, or none of those things….we still give thanks to God and offer various things up to God: ourselves, our time, our possessions. We can all find ways to do this corporately and as households. For what reason? For a thank-offering to God. To recognize that not just 10%, but 100% belongs to God!
P (Prayer): God, we thank you for providing for our daily bread. Help us to acknowledge you for the things we have, material and spiritual. Amen.