Throughout the Scriptures—from beginning to end—God reveals Himself as a giver of gifts. Moses said of God in Deuteronomy 7:13: “He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you.”
Clearly God had established a love relationship with ancient Israel. He provided them with the guidelines to a meaningful and fruitful life. In following those guidelines, they were expressing their trust and love in Jehovah. He, in turn, would shower them with gifts of love.
Israel’s reciprocal covenant relationship with God is depicted in the following words of Moses in Deuteronomy 11:13-15: “If you faithfully obey the com- mands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”
This reciprocal love relationship, expressed in giving gifts, is also seen on a personal level. God expressed His love to Solomon, the young king of Israel, by asking, “What shall I give you?”
Solomon requested: “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. . . . So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
God, the great giver of gifts, was pleased with Solomon and responded: “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administrating justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (1 Kings 3:7, 9, 11-13).
“Throughout the Scriptures—from beginning to end—God reveals Himself as a giver of gifts.”
Many of the Hebrew songs expressed a similar portrayal of God as the great gift giver. For example, Psalm 5:12 states: “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”
The New Testament continues painting the portrait of the God of love who freely gives gifts to those who love Him. Many agree that the message of the Bible can be summarized in one verse, namely, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
It is important to understand that those words were spoken by Jesus as He identified Himself as God’s one and only Son and proclaimed His mission on earth. Jesus continued, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. . . . The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:17, 35-36).
by Gary Chapman
Feel God’s love more personally. Do you realize that the God of the universe speaks your love language, and your expressions of love for...
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