Thursday, April 11, 2013

don't be cheap

Read I Samuel 9 and I Peter 3

The servant answered Saul and said, “Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.” I Samuel 9:8
But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in God’s sight is very precious. I Peter 3:5

Saul highly commended his young servant for making such a good suggestion that they pay the Prophet Samuel a quarter so he would tell them where Saul’s Father’s donkeys may have gone. An Israeli shekel today is worth about 27 cents. Even though there has been a bit of inflation over the last three thousand years, a quarter of a shekel is a small amount of money. We don’t read if Saul ever offered Samuel the quarter. Hopefully he did not. It would have been an insulting thing to do. Though Scripture tells us the laborer is worthy of his wage, the Lord’s worker is not for hire, especially not at such cheap rates.

Sometimes we think the Lord Himself can be hired. There are cultures that teach that if you pay for so many candles, and if you say so many of a certain phrase, God will get you what you want. Pretty silly. But I wonder if I may be thinking when I give to the Lord’s work that I should be able to expect the Lord to provide me with economic security or maybe some heavenly crowns?

Is there anything we can give to God that is of value? Peter writes that our faith is “more precious than gold.” I Peter 1:7. The writer of Hebrews states, “without faith it is impossible to please him.” Hebrews 11:6 (Or, inversely, with faith, we do please Him.)  

Peter encourages women in their womanly role, “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” I Peter 3:4 How can a woman, or any person, have that very valuable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit? It only comes as we trust our Lord. It is only when we have faith in our Heavenly Father that we not feel the need to struggle and strive.

The Lord does not want our meager  pay. But He does ask something from each of us, and that is our faith. The Philippian jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Acts 17:30&31.

And though the Lord is not for hire, He will be entreated. David wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Lord, trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalms 37:4&5

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