WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES?
When it comes to finances people are very touchy when they are taught the Word of God concerning finances, especially if it is going to ask them to open their wallets.
The first principle: Tithing
The tithe is comprehensively taught in the Old Testament and the concept of the tithe in the New Testament is accepted as fully taught in the Old Testament because nothing is added to the teaching. We see the same with praise and worship; praise and worship is not expanded upon in the New Testament because it was taught comprehensively in the Old Testament. The fact that the New Testament doesn't teach about tithing doesn't mean that tithing should stop.
What is interesting is the fact that people will study praise and worship in the Old Testament and go out of their way to align their services to do exactly what is described in the Old Testament concerning praise and worship.
When it comes to the feasts of the Israelites; people are studying the Old Testament to learn exactly what is meant by it and what is involved for them to be able to keep those feasts.
But ... when it comes to tithing people are saying 'it is Old Testament' and many other excuses are used not to tithe.
Some preachers are teaching today that the tithe is not to be paid in the church today, because as it moved through the cross it became sowing and reaping??? Jesus made a few statements that, as far as I understand, confirm the continuation of the principle of the tithe:
The foundation scriptures for tithing are listed at the end of this document. There are many more scriptures than the ones listed but the list is sufficient for studying the basics of tithing.
Mat 22:17-22 "Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
What did our Lord Jesus Christ say about tithing?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
19 "Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius.
20 And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?"
21 They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Luk 20:22-26 "Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Why do you test Me?
24 "Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?" They answered and said, "Caesar's."
25 And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.
Seeing that they tried to catch Him in His words concerning taxes - money - the Lord answered them in the same language concerning taxes - money. The Lord did not stop after: "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's", no, He continued to say: "and to God the things that are God's."
Gal 3:10-14 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."
In Luke our Lord Jesus criticized the Pharisees and the scribes not about their tithing, but because of their hypocrisy - because they love the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets, because they like to be seen.
Luk 11:42-44 But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over judgment and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to leave the other undone. 43 Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unseen tombs and the men walking above are not aware of them.
Verse 42b says: You ought to have done these, and not to leave the other undone; it was right to tithe but it was wrong to pass over judgment and the love of God. If you look at the word 'ought' in the thesaurus you will find: have to, must and should.
Mat 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and you have left undone the weightier matters of the Law, judgment, mercy, and faith. You ought to have done these and not to leave the other undone.
Here we see exactly the same remark: you must do the first and not leave the second undone. It is clear that the Lord Jesus Christ confirmed that tithes must be paid but the less visible things must not be overlooked.
11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."
12 Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them."
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"),
14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
For Christians to act because of the Law is wrong, we live by faith. Giving tithes has to be done by faith in Christ Jesus and not because of the Law or because of fear. Tithes should be given thankfully and out of love for our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Ps 116:12 What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?
The psalmist asked the perfect question to express his total awe towards God for everything He has done for him. What are we prepared to give to the Lord? Are we prepared to give everything? Except our tithes?
Some are saying that ministers must trust God for their needs. Tithing is one of the ways the Father established in scripture to supply for the needs of the ministry and will cause great protection over the finances of them that pay their tithes to God. According to Deut 28:1-14 you will be blessed if you obey God's commands and cursed if you do not obey the Lord's commands Deut 28:15-68. Are you blessed or are things continually go wrong? Now you know why.
The second principle: sowing and reaping
The principle of sowing and reaping is explained by Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, that you must give cheerfully.
2Cor 9:6-14 But I say this, He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
7 Each one, as he purposes in his heart, let him give; not of grief, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.
9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,
13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you.
Sowing and reaping was God's principle for nature from directly after the flood and it is explained as a spiritual principle in the New Testament.
What about the parable of the sower?
Mark 4:2-9 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 "And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
5 "Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.
6 "But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.
7 "And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
8 "But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
9 And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Many preachers are using this portion of scripture to get people to give large sums of money, with a promise of a hundredfold return in this life, to 'the work of the Lord' so they can do 'the work of the Lord'. This portion of scripture has nothing to do with finances - it is about the effect of the Word of God in the lives of people that heard the Word.
Mark 4:13-20 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
14 "The sower sows the word.
15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble.
18 "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
The Lord talks about the effect of the Word in their personal lives:
1. The ones by the wayside hear the Word but satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts - there was no effect.
2. The ones on stony ground hear the Word and it endures for a while but because they weren't sincere when tribulation or persecution arises for the Word's sake, immediately they stumble.
3. The ones among thorns hear the Word and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word, and they become unfruitful.
4. The ones that are the good ground, they hear the Word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
The people that hear the Word and 'accept it', they bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.
'The word' is mentioned 7 times in this portion of scriptures and yet ministers teach 'money'. Money is never part of this portion of scripture, the people bear fruit!
Giving is God's way to counter poverty.
Pro 11:24-26 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.
25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26 The people will curse him who withholds grain, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 5:42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Mat 19:17-26 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,'
19 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Also Mark 10:19-27
2Co 8:1-24 And, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given among the churches of Macedonia;
2 that in much testing of trouble, the overflowing of their joy, and the depth of their poverty, abounded to the riches of their generosity.
3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability; they gave willingly;
4 with much beseeching, begging us that they might receive of us the grace and the fellowship of the ministry to the saints.
5 And not as we hoped, but first they gave themselves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God,
6 for us to call on Titus, that even as he began before, so he would also complete this grace to you also.
7 But even as you abound in everything, in faith, and in word, and in knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love to us; you should abound in this grace also.
8 I do not speak according to command, but through the eagerness of others, and testing the trueness of your love.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor, in order that you might be made rich through His poverty.
10 And in this I give my judgment; for this is profitable for you, who began before, not only to do, but also to be willing a year ago.
11 But now also finish the doing of it, so that, as there was a readiness to will, so also the finishing, giving out of what you have.
12 For if the eagerness is present, it is acceptable according to what one has, and not according to what one does not have.
13 For it is not that others may have ease, but you trouble;
14 but by equality in the present time; your abundance for their need, that their abundance also may be for your need; so that there may be equality;
15 as it is written, "He gathering much, he had nothing left over; and he gathering little did not have less."
16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
17 For indeed he accepted the entreaty. But being more earnest, of his own accord he went to you.
18 And we have sent with him the brothers whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
19 and not only so, but also he having been chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself, and as a witness of your eager mind;
20 avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us;
21 providing for honest things, not only before the Lord, but also before men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest by the great confidence which I have in you.
23 If anyone inquires of Titus, he is my partner and fellow-worker for you, or of our brothers, they are the messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
24 Therefore show them a proof of your love and of our boasting toward you in the presence of the churches.
The foundation for tithing is laid in the following scriptures:
Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Jehovah's. It is holy to Yahweh.
Lev 27:32 And all the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, all that passes under the rod, a tenth shall be holy to Yahweh
Num 18:24-32 But the tithes of the sons of Israel, which they offer as a heave offering to Jehovah, I have given to the Levites to inherit. Therefore I have said to them, Among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 25 And Yahweh spoke to Moses saying, 26 And you shall speak to the Levites, and you shall say to them, When you take tithes from the sons of Israel, which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it for Jehovah, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be credited to you as grain of the threshing-floor, and as the fullness of the winepress. 28 So you also shall offer a heave offering to Jehovah of all your tithes, which you receive, from the sons of Israel. And you shall give from it Yahweh's heave offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts you shall offer every heave offering of Yahweh, of all its fat, the holy part of it out of it. 30 And you shall say to them, When you have lifted up its fat, then it shall be credited to the Levites as the increase of the threshing-floor, and as the increase of the winepress. 31 And you shall eat it in every place, you and your households. For it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. 32 And you shall bear no sin because of it, when you have lifted up the fat of it. Neither shall you defile the holy things of the sons of Israel, lest you die.
Deut 14:22-29 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed that the field brings forth year by year.
23 And you shall eat before Jehovah your God in the place, which He shall choose to place His name there, the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the first-born of your herds and of your flocks, so that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always. 24 And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, or if the place is too far from you, which Jehovah your God shall choose to set His name there, when Yahweh your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall turn it into silver and bind up the silver in your hand, and shall go to the place which Jehovah your God shall choose. 26 And you shall pay that silver for whatever your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires. And you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household 27 and the Levite within your gates, you shall not forsake him, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. 28 At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase the same year, and shall lay it up inside your gates. 29 And the Levite, because he has no part nor inheritance with you, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are inside your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied, so that Jehovah your God may bless you in all the work of your hand, which you do.
2Ch 31:7-12 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished in the seventh month. 8 And Hezekiah and the rulers came and saw the heaps, and they blessed Jehovah and His people Israel. 9 And Hezekiah asked the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of Jehovah, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left. For Yahweh has blessed His people, and this great store is left. 11 And Hezekiah commanded storehouses to be prepared in the house of Jehovah. And they prepared, 12 and brought in the offerings and the tithes and the things dedicated to God faithfully. And over them was Cononiah the Levite ruler, and Shimei his brother the next.
Neh 10:34-39 And we cast the lots among the priests, and the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring into the house of our God, according to the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of Jehovah our God, as it is written in the Law 35 and to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of Jehovah;
36 and to bring the first-born of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God; 37 and that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all kinds of trees, of wine and of oil, to the priests, to the rooms of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites, and they, the Levites, might have the tithes in all the cities we farmed. 38 And the priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms, into the treasure house. 39 For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the offering of the grain, of the new wine, and the oil, to the rooms where the vessels of the sanctuary are, and the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. And we will not forsake the house of our God.
Mal 3:7-18 From the days of your fathers, you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says Yahweh of Hosts. But you say. In what way shall we return?
8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, In what have we robbed You? In the tithe and the offering!
9 You are cursed with a curse; for you are robbing Me, the nation, all of it.
10 Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Yahweh of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room.
11 And I will rebuke your devourer, and he shall not decay the fruit of your ground against you; nor shall your vine miscarry against you in the field, says Jehovah of Hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed; for you shall be a delightful land, says Yahweh of Hosts.
13 Your words have been strong against Me, says Jehovah. Yet you say, What have we spoken against You?
14 You have said, It is vain to serve God; and, What profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked as mourners before Yahweh of Hosts?
15 And now we are calling the arrogant blessed. Not only are the doers of wickedness built up, they also test God, and escape.
16 Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And Jehovah listened and heard. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah, and for those esteeming His name.
17 And they shall be Mine, says Yahweh of Hosts, for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him.
18 Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him.
Mat 23:23-28 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and you have left undone the weightier matters of the Law, judgment, mercy, and faith. You ought to have done these and not to leave the other undone. 24 Blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Blind Pharisee! First cleanse the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Luk 11:42-52 But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over judgment and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to leave the other undone. 43 Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unseen tombs and the men walking above are not aware of them. 45 And one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, Master, you reproach us also when you say this. 46 And He said, Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens grievous to be carried, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
Mathew Henry's Commentary of the whole Bible - Deut 14:22-29
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 Truly you bear witness that you consent to the deeds of your fathers. For they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the temple. Truly I say to you, It shall be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and you have hindered those who were entering in.
We see in the article taken from Mathew Henry's Commentary of the whole Bible that he speaks of a first and a second tithe. It is not clear how he gets to understand the existence of two tithes.
We have here a part of the statute concerning tithes. The productions of the ground were twice tithed, so that, putting both together, a fifth part was devoted to God out of their increase, and only four parts of five were for their own common use; and they could not but own they paid an easy rent, especially since God's part was disposed of to their own benefit and advantage. The first tithe was for the maintenance of their Levites, who taught them the good knowledge of God, and ministered to them in holy things; this is supposed as anciently due, and is entailed upon the Levites as an inheritance, by that law, Num_18:24, etc. But it is the second tithe that is here spoken of, which was to be taken out of the remainder when the Levites had had theirs.
I. They are here charged to separate it, and set it apart for God: Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of they seed, Deu_14:22. The Levites took care of their own, but the separating of this was left to the owners themselves, the law encouraging them to be honest by reposing a confidence in them, and so trying their fear of God. They are commanded to tithe truly, that is, to be sure to do it, and to do it faithfully and carefully, that God's part might not be diminished either with design or by oversight. Note, We must be sure to give God his full dues out of our estates; for, being but stewards of them, it is required that we be faithful, as those that must give account.
II. They are here directed how to dispose of it when they had separated it. Let every man lay by as God prospers him and gives him success, and then let him lay out in pious uses as God gives him opportunity; and it will be the easier to lay out, and the proportion will be more satisfying, when first we have laid by. This second tithe may be disposed of,
1. In works of piety (charity), for the first two years after the year of release. They must bring it up, either in kind or in the full value of it, to the place of the sanctuary, and there must spend it in holy feasting before the Lord. If they could do it with any convenience, they must bring it in kind (Deu_14:23); but, if not, they might turn it into money (Deu_14:24, Deu_14:25), and that money must be laid out in something to feast upon before the Lord. The comfortable cheerful using of what God has given us, with temperance and sobriety, is really the honouring of God with it. Contentment, holy joy, and thankfulness, make every meal a religious feast. The end of this law we have (Deu_14:23): That thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always; it was to keep them right and firm to their religion, (1.) By acquainting them with the sanctuary, the holy things, and the solemn services that were there performed. What they read the appointment of their Bibles, it would do them good to see the observance of in the tabernacle; it would make a deeper impression upon them, which would keep them out of the snares of the idolatrous customs. Note, It will have a good influence upon our constancy in religion never to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, Heb_10:25. By the comfort of the communion of saints, we may be kept to our communion with God. (2.) By using them to the most pleasant and delightful services of religion. Let them rejoice before the Lord, that they may learn to fear him always. The more pleasure we find in the ways of religion the more likely we shall be to persevere in those ways. One thing they must remember in their pious entertainments - to bid their Levites welcome to them. Thou shall not forsake the Levites (Deu_14:27): "Let him never be a stranger to thy table, especially when thou eatest before the Lord."
2. Every third year this tithe must be disposed of at home in works of charity (Deu_14:28, Deu_14:29): Lay it up within they own gates, and let it be given to the poor, who, knowing the provision this law had made for them, no doubt would come to seek it; and, that they might make the poor familiar to them and not disdain their company, they are here directed to welcome them to their houses. "Thither let them come, and eat and be satisfied." In this charitable distribution of the second tithe they must have an eye to the poor ministers and add to their encouragement by entertaining them, then to poor strangers (not only for the supply of their necessities, but to put a respect upon them, and so to invite them to turn proselytes), and then to the fatherless and widow, who, though perhaps they might have a competent maintenance left them, yet could not be supposed to live so plentifully and comfortably as they had done in months past, and therefore they were to countenance them, and help to make them easy by inviting them to this entertainment. God has a particular care for widows and fatherless, and he requires that we should have the same. It is his honour, and will be ours, to help the helpless. And if we thus serve God, and do good with what we have, it is promised here that the Lord our God will bless us in all the work of our hand. Note, (1.) The blessing of God is all in all to our outward prosperity, and, without that blessing, the work of our hands, which we do will bring nothing to pass. (2.) The way to obtain that blessing is to be diligent and charitable. The blessing descends upon the working hand: "Except not that God should bless thee in thy idleness and love of ease, but in all the work of they hand." It is the hand of the diligent, with the blessing of God upon it, that makes rich, Pro_10:4, Pro_10:22. And it descends upon the giving hand; he that thus scatters certainly increases, and the liberal soul will be made fat. It is an undoubted truth, though little believed, that to be charitable to the poor, and to be free and generous in the support of religion and any good work, is the surest and safest way of thriving. What is lent to the Lord will be repaid with abundant interest.