When disaster, tragedy or the unexplainable strikes an innocent soul, God often get’s the blame. Accusations, complaining and questioning follow as people search for answers beneath the rumble left behind. In the background, overhearing these conservations, the Lord is disappointed, by empty hands, always taking yet never giving.
Lost in history are the words at the end of Exodus 23:15, “no one is to appear before me empty handed.” During the good times in life, God is like a friend we lose touch with, too busy to carve out any time in our daily schedule. Pride puffs up our minds, thinking we are the reason for success. Solomon was right in Proverbs 16:18 as pride foreshadows our fall, as individuals come crashing back to earth.
One could make the assumption that part of Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 relates to bringing God our best, not just the leftovers. Exodus 23:19 illustrates what full hands resemble, offering up your first fruits to God. Modern examples could be giving Jesus your first moments awake each morning, listening God’s Word first thing or giving your first paycheck of the month to the local church.
The next time you are tempted to grumble against the Lord, ask yourself this question. Did I give God my full, partial or little attention today? Depending upon your reply, maybe you need to fill your hands before you lift them up to the Lord in prayer. When you learn to give, God will pay it forward in His time, Ecclesiastes 3:11. As for now, gather before a poor witness causes countless to scatter from the faith, Matthew 12:30.
by Jay Mankus