Topic: Thieves in the Sanctuary II [Thursday 6, October 2016]
Memorise: Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? – Romans 2:21
Read: 1 Samuel 2:12-17 (KJV)
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37:15-39:29, Psalms 74:12-23
The worst of all thieves in the church are the ministers who take the tithes, offerings and the first-fruits collected from member for their personal use. You hear them say, “He who serves at the Altar must eat from the Altar.” As true as this statement may be, custodians of the Lord’s sanctuary should be wary of greed and the love of money. 1 Timothy 6:10-11 says:
“10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
In the Bible reading for today, the children of Eli corrupted the people’s sacrifice through greed. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening today; some ministers of God, through greed, have made the tithes, offerings and first-fruits that people bring to the sanctuary unacceptable to God. Sometimes, members of the congregation suspect this foul play and begin to ask the ministers in charge what they use their tithes and offerings for. Though the ministers should be accountable to God through men, however, the tithes and offerings become an abomination before the Lord when the givers monitor it to the extent of wanting to know what God does with it. This is the reason some people claim to be paying their tithes and offerings and there is nothing to show for their giving. In Matthew 6:3-4, Jesus Christ said:
“3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
It is dangerous when brethren are not being encouraged or motivated to give more because they do not have anything to show for their previous giving. This happens when they begin to develop a negative attitude towards the way their pastors handle the finances of the Church. Some people leave their local assembly to go and pay their tithes and offerings elsewhere. This is counterproductive. Hence, the ministers handling God’s assets must be very careful. They must not become thieves in the sanctuary. The Lord enjoins us to fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life whereunto we have been called, and keep away from the love of this world. If it is dangerous to rob God by not paying our tithes and offering, it is deadly to steal out of the one that the brethren are faithfully contributing for the advancement of the Kingdom business. We must learn from the children of Eli and the children of Samuel himself (1 Samuel 8:1-5).
Prayer Point: Father, please deliver me from the demon called mammon and don’t let me end up like Judas Iscariot.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.
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