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Supporting the Priesthood of God

Devotions

Even in the most affluent congregations in America, there appears to be little sacrificial giving. Statistics in 2018 report that on average believers gave 2.5 percent of their annual income to the church. As John Piper has noted, “The evidence that many of our people are not rich toward God is how little they give and how much they own.”

How amazing to read about the abundant offering for the priests and Levites under Hezekiah. When the king commanded the people to give, they gave so much that they had to build storage facilities for the surplus of contributions toward the work of the priests and Levites (vv. 7–11)!

Why did the people respond with such generosity? It was not because the king had ordered or forced them to. It was the result of their commitment to worship. After the Passover, the people remembered who had saved and preserved them—not the idols of the land but the Lord who brought them out of Egypt. Therefore, they rid the land of idols, wholly depending upon the Lord for their provision (v. 1). The gracious outpouring to support the work of the priests and Levites was a tangible example of their love for and trust in God.

The people of God also had the example of Hezekiah, who obeyed the Lord with his whole heart (v. 21). Hezekiah viewed his role as king not as an opportunity for personal enrichment or power but as a godly leader who could model obedience to the Lord for his people. Throughout Judah, he did “what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God” (v. 20). God was pleased with this worship and obedience and poured out blessings on Hezekiah and the people.

Apply the Word

The apostle Paul said the labor of pastors is work that deserves proper wages (1 Tim. 5:17–18). The church should care for the material needs of God’s servants as the right response to their care for the spiritual growth of the people of God. Examine your giving to make sure that you are providing care for God’s servants in your church.

BY Eric C. Redmond

Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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