Today’s Readings: GENESIS 28:6-30:24
For the second time in the last 7 days of reading we see that someone has decided to give someone else a tenth of everything. Maybe we are beginning to see a pattern here.
A few days ago we read about Abraham and Melchizedek .
Genesis 14:18 – 20 (NIV)
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Much later in the year we will read more about Melchizedek when we read Hebrews. He is a very special priest and represents a special connection to Christ.
But in today’s reading we find out that Jacob also decides to give 10% to God. He has been sent away from his family and is on his adventure to find a wife. While he traveling he has a dream from God and see a staircase with angels ascending and descending from heaven to earth. He is promised by God that all the land he sees is his. He also received the same blessing that his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham received. They will have descendants too numerous to count, like the sand at the beach or the stars in the heavens.
Here is Jacob’s response to this experience:
Genesis 28:20 – 22 (NIV)
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Wow a tenth of everything. That may seem like a lot. But is it? There are 168 hours in a week, a tenth of that is 16. 8 hours. We sleep for about 1/3 or our lives. We give 40 hours a week to work. How much time do we spend on Facebook or the internet? If you spend 2 1/2 hours a day on the computer playing games, writing e-mails, checking FaceBook it would add up to 17.5 hours a week. That is more than 10% of the week.
Could you spend 2.4 hours a day (16.8 hours/week) doing things for God? Maybe that time is spent at work, but the money earned is sent to your church or charities. Maybe you spend an hour a day in prayer and Bible study and reading. If you spent 7 hours a week in the Word, a few at church on Sunday that would still give you 4 hours to be a volunteer.
Take a few minutes today to look at how you spend your time and money and decide to and dedicate yourself to getting things more into balance. There is definitely evidence that people of God have done this for thousands of years.