30 July 2015
Reading: 2 Corinthians 8; Proverbs 5
13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s need will be met. 15 As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.” (2 Corinthians 8:13–15 NLT)
It’s interesting that Paul references Exodus 16:18 here. This is the story of how God sent manna to feed the Israelites during their years in the wilderness. God told them to go out each morning to gather the manna and that there would be enough to feed their families for the day. They could gather more than enough on the day before the Sabbath and it would keep for the two-day span. If they tried to gather excess on any other day, it would spoil. God intended for this to be their “daily” food. They couldn’t stockpile it for security, they had to depend on God’s daily provision.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us our food for today!” (Our daily bread). Jesus said that our dependence is on God for what we need—daily dependence (The kind we find most frustrating!) We always have the tendency to want to stockpile our resources for our own security. Jesus makes it clear that the only security we have is in God!
Paul says that our security is found in community with others under God, not in isolating ourselves and our wealth and resources. Sometimes we have plenty and we share generously with others who are in need. Sometimes we are in need. Then others share generously and we receive from them gracefully and gratefully.
Bottom line: Everyone’s needs are met. Nobody can stockpile enough to replace our dependency on God in community with others! Right now, we give what we can to meet other’s needs. Later, others will give what they can to meet our needs. Dependency, community, sufficiency!
Father, Thank you for being a faithful and loving God who provides our daily bread. I sure would like to be able to stockpile enough so that I didn’t need to depend on you every day and others every other day! But I’m learning! Please be patient and gentle with me and my friends as we learn that our security is in you, in community! Amen!