The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. – Proverbs 22:9
Solomon, as one of the wealthiest of all kings if not the wealthiest, understood the blessing that comes from sharing one’s wealth with the poor, needy, and destitute. Solomon only had great riches because he had not asked for them or long life or other personal gain. He asked God for wisdom in order to lead and rule God’s chosen people, Israel. Over the years, we can see that Solomon must have understood the principle of tithing. Although Malachi would not record God’s message of testing Him with our giving regarding tithes and offerings for centuries, God used Solomon to emphasize the importance of giving and being blessed by it.
In the book of Malachi, God says for us to test Him in regards to giving. He says that we cannot contain the blessing/reward that comes from our giving. In other words, the more we give away, the more God gives us to enjoy and continue giving away. If we give more when we receive more from God, He will continue to pour out more and more blessing on us – to the point that we cannot contain it. You cannot out give God!
Now let us look at this idea in light of Solomon’s sage advice. He says that the generous are blessed because they share their food with the poor. Doesn’t make sense that the more we share with the needy, the more we receive from God? Of course it does! The Bible is explicitly clear that God cares for the down-and-out whether they are saved or lost. Otherwise, He would not have said that He sends rain on the just and the unjust.
When we share victuals with the poor, we make their lives a bit more livable and ease the pains of hunger and destitution. There is nothing more physically bothersome than going hungry. We don’t live on bread alone, but we do live on bread (food). God made out bodies to consume food. He gave Adam and Eve the entire Garden of Eden and all its fruit trees save the tree of death. Poor people don’t always have the means, will or resources to procure even enough rations for one day. Sometimes they can go days without a meal, possibly weeks.
We, in America, are so spoiled and have access to vast quantities of food at our disposal. We give tons of food away to suffering nations annually, but we often neglect our very neighbors and fellow countrymen who starve walking up and down our streets looking for even a piece of bread to satisfy their hunger. What are you doing to reduce the hunger of the needy? Do you throw away large quantities of food you cook and don’t consume? Are leftovers tossed out from spoiling? Why not try eating a portion you can easily consume and make a dish for the poor and needy? If you can’t take food to the needy, why not serve in a kitchen for the needy? If you can’t do that, do you give money to the needy? What are you doing to extend God’s grace to the needy? He cares for them no less than He does for you.
If you give of your subsistence to the poor and needy, I guarantee you will be blessed. God said it, and it will happen. Do you believe enough in Him to trust Him at His Word? He is the faithful God, and His Word doesn’t return void to him. It accomplishes what He set it out to do.
Father, thank You for giving me a heart for the poor and needy. I do what I can to help those who are hungry and thirsty going to and from work. I pray that You would open more doors of opportunity to serve the less fortunate and allow me to bless them, as You continue to bless our home. We don’t go hungry, so why shouldn’t I help someone else not be hungry too? You are so generous and gracious. May I be more like You in my giving and sharing with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.