2 Chronicles 25-27

What About the Money?

In Chapter 25 we read King Amaziah was planning to go to war with Edom so he hired 100,000 warriors from the ten tribes of Israel to go with him in battle. The Lord sent a prophet to him who told Amaziah that God was not with the nation of Israel and that he should not depend on these men. Amaziah was to send the men back. Amaziah had paid 100 talents of silver to the men and so he asked the prophet what about the money he spent? The prophet’s reply was, “The Lord has much more to give you than this.” 2Chronicles 25:9b NASB

This is an important verse to me and I have used it to guide me in monetary decisions over the years. I am a bi-vocational pastor. I have been self-employed for the last forty plus years which allows me to be able to serve in small churches. The good thing about being self-employed is that I can be flexible with my time when needed. The difficult thing with self-employment is managing a schedule and of course, cash flow. With self-employment there is always the potential of a job going bad ie cost overruns, costly problems that were over looked when I took on the job, mistakes, dissatisfied customers, are just a few of the many things that can go wrong. When these things happen one can find himself working for little or nothing or worse. Inevitably, when dealing with problems like these, the question about money comes up.  When faced with a problem that is going to cost me time and money I have learned that money cannot be the deciding factor in how to proceed. Early on I read the verse above and relied on the truth it declares. Yes, there have been times when I didn’t make money on the job but I have learned to trust the Lord and seek to glorify Him. God has always been faithful.

In Acts 5 we read that Ananias and Sapphira saw the people in the Church selling their property and giving the money to the Church. They sold some of their property as well and brought the money to Peter. They told Peter they brought the full price of the sale but in reality they held back some of the money. Now, the property was theirs to keep or to sell. If they sold it the money was theirs to keep or to do whatever. However, when they told Peter they brought the full price they received from the sale they lied. Peter told them they had not only lied to the Holy Spirit but had put the Holy Spirit to the test. Both Ananias and Sapphira died that day. Now, to us, that may seem harsh, but there is an important lesson to be learned here.

One of the things I do in self-employment is grow and sell produce. We have a little produce stand on our property. It doesn’t bring in enough money to hire someone to wait on the customers so we rely on the honor system which works most of the time. In order to sell things this way I have to price everything. In order to set the prices I have to have a scale to weigh the items. My scale is certified by the state and I have to renew the license every year which we do. 

As I was weighing and pricing tomatoes one day it occurred to me that Ananias and Sapphira had differing weights and measures. In other words, it would be like saying an item weighed more than it actually did so they could increase the price. The Bible warns against having different standards of measurements. Proverbs 11:1, 16:11, 20:10, 23

 Now, this may seem like a small thing but in reality when we lie about the weights and measures we are compromising our faith and not trusting in God to provide for us. We are moving the boundaries God has put in place. Proverbs 23:28, 23:10&11; Deuteronomy 19:14

Instead, we are relying on ourselves, and taking advantage of people and putting our witness as Christians to death. Maybe it is not such a little thing after all.

We all need money to survive and there will be times when the money is short and anxiety is screaming at us to do something. It is important that we understand that these are times when our faith in God can be strengthened as we resist the temptation to act rashly rather than to trust in God.

Jesus had something to say about this as well in Matthew 6:19-34 which I recommend for further study.

How we conduct our lives is a beacon to the world of what we believe.

People are watching.

Trust God. I have always found Him to be faithful.

Pastor Dave