“I Will Rebuke the Devourer” – Proverbs 3

In the third chapter of Proverbs, King Solomon gives insight into the Lord’s unique economy.  He tells us how God wants us to remember Him and the needy as we prepare to spend our funds, prayerfully considering how we are to share some of it with Him and others for kingdom purposes, and that as a result, we will become beneficiaries ourselves.

Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.  Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)

Most of us do not have barns filled with plenty, or even bank accounts in the same condition, so this promise does get our attention.  What exactly does it mean?

God is asking us is to remember Him and His people whenever He has blessed us with some form of material gain. This means that when we get funds from any source, be it a paycheck from our work, or an unexpected monetary gift or refund, we are to remember Him and those He is watching over.  We are partners with Him in His many ministries and outreaches, and He wants us to pour some of ourselves into them.

We work hard for our money.  A job is never easy and requires great effort, sweat, and sacrifice on our part.  We are mentally and physically tired from our labor and suffer through any number of hardships and trials along the way.  We may feel that we are entitled to keep every penny for ourselves, as we have often have those in our own families who depend on it.  Besides, money is often gone just as quickly as it comes, if not sooner.

All true. But the Lord still wants us to remember Him, even when it hurts.  He has allowed us to get hired for the job and grants us the favor, energy, and inspiration to successfully get through it, despite its many challenges.  To share our precious and thin paycheck with Him requires a practical faith on our part, a faith of action, and that is what He appreciates the most.

As the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land after being freed from slavery in Egypt and then wandering in the desert for forty years, God told them they would live off the existing crops of the land for the first two years.  By the third year, they would be growing their own crops and greatly expanding the size of their herds, reaping a great bounty of blessing.  This also came with an instruction:

12 “When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—the year of tithing— (give) it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled…Deuteronomy 26:12 (NKJV)

The tithe represents a tenth of the bounty to be shared with those under God’s special provision and care: His ministers, wandering sojourners, orphans, and widows.  He specifically takes care of those who are vulnerable and unable to provide for their own shelter and sustenance.  God expects His true believers to partner with Him and to share from their own bounty to bless those in the same way.

As a special gifting to those who obey, God promises incredible blessings in return for our financial faithfulness.  Whenever we give a portion of our resources back to God, He turns around and gives even more back to us.  It has been said that He always uses a bigger shovel in return whenever we shovel from our blessings to give into His kingdom.

Jesus stated this in His Sermon on the Mount:

38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

God said a similar thing through the prophet Malachi, many hundred years before the birth of Christ:

10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts; Malachi 3:10-11 (NKJV)

God will always return more to us than we give to Him.  Sometimes this is easy to forget, but it is eternally true.  I have witnessed it many times in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

God will rebuke the devourer in many ways.  Yes, there is a devourer, an evil one in opposition to the Lord and His kingdom.  He has come to steal, kill, and destroy, as Jesus states in John 10:10.

We will not go through life unscathed by the evil one’s fallout, as biblical Job found out, but he will be rebuked by the Lord before he can devour all of our material blessings that God has given us.  The Lord may do this by preventing any number of difficult or expensive experiences from coming our way, such as a medical condition or collision repair bill that are avoided because the Lord stepped in to prevent something bad from happening. Or it may be a better recovery when hard trials do come our way.

God may also give us special gifts. An unexpected check may arrive in the mail just when we need it.  A phone call may deliver the good news that we have been hoping and praying for.  A new job opportunity may come up out of the blue.  A financial loss may be restored by a gracious blessing. There are countless ways that the Lord may choose to rebuke the devourer for those who faithfully seek to follow Him.

“Try me now in this,” says the Lord.  This is one of the few areas where God actually wants us to test Him.  If we do decide to take a step of faith to do something along these lines, we do it quietly – it is only between us and God.  Ideally, after we talk it over with our significant other to help decide what step or steps to take, we move forward in grateful obedience, then watch and see what the Lord does with it.  In some way, shape or form, He will likely, over time, indicate His approval. If so, this may be a sign to take another, bigger step the next time.  If we faithfully seek to do so, the Lord promises that He will provide for all of our needs, faithfully blessing and protecting us as He rebukes the devourer who seeks to harm us.


Is there a ministry that the Lord has placed on your heart to join Him in support, to begin to “try Him”? It may be a church, a soup kitchen, an orphanage, or any ministry that seeks to obey the will of the Lord, doing outreach for the poor, to grow His kingdom, and to glorify His name.

Many choose to give a full tithe to their local church, as these often support similar ministries. How one chooses to proceed is a matter of personal belief and choice, and may be guided by your own church’s teachings.

He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9 (NKJV)

Father God, show us the specific ways that You want us to be obedient to You with our finances. Help us to pay off our debts and to provide for our families as we honor You and Your kingdom with generous giving, as You lead and encourage us. We thank You for Your abundant provision, blessing, and protection. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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