Relying on Self – Deuteronomy 8

17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:17- 18 ESV

As Jesus sat in the temple in Jerusalem and observed the people putting their offerings into the offering box, one person made him marvel.  It was not a tax collector or rich landowner dropping a large amount of money into the box.  It was a poor widow, giving almost the smallest amount possible.  Jesus marveled because she was giving all that she had to God.  He pointed her out to his disciples with joy and amazement as a tremendous example of faithful generosity.

We don’t know from the gospel what happened next for the woman, but I like to think that on her way home, she stumbled upon the makings of a sumptuous meal that had fallen off of some cart when it hit a bump.

Jesus also told stories about rich people.  In Luke 12, He told of one man who had accumulated much wealth, and had another bumper crop that was growing in the fields.  The coming crop was so large that he told himself that he must tear down his current barns to build bigger ones to handle the growing prosperity.  Life would be easy from now on, he told himself.

Jesus went on to say that the rich man was about to die and would never see the crops gathered or the new barns raised up.  It was a warning to not forget about God during times of prosperity.

As the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, Moses warned them not to forget the Lord when things were going well.  It was not a time to pat oneself on the back for one’s success, forgetting about the needs of others around us who have not experienced such wealth.

Moses also reminded them that every opportunity to improve our lot in life comes from the Lord.  It only happens because God wants to use it for kingdom purposes.  We are only stewards of what the Lord provides, be we wealthy landowners or poor widows.  It is how we regard money and use it that matters in God’s eyes.

Reflection

Where am I tempted to think about building bigger barns in my life?

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5 ESV

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