Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
Will anyone rob God? Yet, you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you? In your tithes and offerings! You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me – the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.”.
It was the fall of my junior or senior year in high school. It was also stewardship season in the church. A zealous high school Sunday School teacher was encouraging the class to make their financial pledges to the church. For two weeks I had forgotten to submit my pledge. When I admitted I had left mine at home once again, his response was: “Do we need to come by your house to collect it?” My response was: “No, I’ll bring it next Sunday.” It was a strong arm tactic to get pledges in and I never will forget how his words made me feel! True to my word, I returned the completed pledge card, but he had robbed me of the joy of giving!
The allusion to Malachi 3:8-10 is profound in “We Give Thee but Thine Own”. Whatever our gifts may be, they already belong to God. All that we have is loaned to us and we are expected to return God’s tithe (10%) and any extra offerings we may choose to give in appreciation as to how God has blessed us. We have received gifts from God in abundance, but we are stewards of them – determining how they will be used. God assures us that if we are faithful in giving the tithe, God will bless us even more. Recognizing how blessed we are we will eagerly give God the first fruits – not what is left over.
The tune of this hymn is credited to Robert Schumann, but no source has been found in the composer’s works.
Blessed Lord, you have showered us with so many gifts. We know that you love a cheerful giver. Guard us from those who would rob us of our joy in giving. Remind us of the importance of giving you our first fruits and not what we can spare or what is left. Let us not forget that all we are and all we have are gifts from you and that we are called to be wise and faithful stewards. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.