Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, February 9, 2014

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Today´s chapter presents some wrong attitudes about the management of material goods and the danger of worshiping such goods. All those who want to grow in their relationship with God, their neighbors, and themselves need to pay attention to these warnings.

First warning: “…Keep thy foot…” talks about worship in the church. In other words, be careful, pay attention to your attitude when you are in front of God. Many people in the days of Solomon went to the Temple, that imposing and magnificent structure called for the adoration of God. There were those who came, bowed in prayer and offered sacrifices according to the covenants but there was no real worship of God. When this happens, such worship becomes superficial, hypocritical and presumptuous. As has been said, “Offerings in faithless hands and disobedient hearts are the sacrifices of fools.” The fact is that only a fool can think that God does not know his heart.

The second warning is related to the care of the poor. According to the text, the poor were oppressed by those who were supposed to help them. This sad fact should not surprise us, “marvel not at the matter” (v. 8). We know that corruption is rooted in sinful human nature. As in those days, so today we have the cry for social justice.

The third warning is about the myths and futility of material recourses. Many people think that money can do anything, solve any problems, and give peace to the spirit. Money is not able to bring full satisfaction, because the human heart was created to be satisfied only by God in the heart (Eccl. 3:11). There are two attitudes that are highlighted when it comes to material goods acquired even through legal means. First, know that they are gifts from God (v. 19); and second, enjoy these goods as from a Heavenly Father.

“Dear Lord, let me never forget that you are the giver of all good gifts and also help me not to forget to express my gratitude to you each and every day.  Amen.”

Cicero Ferreira Gama
Executive Secretary
East Brazil Union