“Honor Jehovah with Your Valuable Things”
“HONOR Jehovah with your valuable things and with the firstfruits of all your produce. Then your stores of supply will be filled with plenty; and with new wine your own press vats will overflow.” (Proverbs 3:9, 10) Locked within those inspired words of wisdom written by King Solomon is the key to anyone’s receiving Jehovah’s blessings in abundance. Jehovah is pleased for us to ‘honor him with our valuable things,’ knowing the pleasure and the subsequent benefits that this brings to us humans.
What are our “valuable things”? Our life, our time, our natural talents and skills, as well as any material possessions that we may have. What is meant by ‘the firstfruits of all our produce’? It means that we must give of our best to Jehovah in all that we have. Jehovah is then pleased to accept these “firstfruits” of our “valuable things” as a gift from our hands.
Good Examples to Follow
Good examples of such openhearted giving are to be found in God’s Word, especially in connection with the various construction programs undertaken to promote true worship among God’s typical people, Israel.
For example, when the time came for Jehovah to provide the tabernacle in the wilderness as a place of worship for the Israelites, the sons of Israel “came, everyone whose heart impelled him, and they brought, everyone whose spirit incited him, Jehovah’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. And they kept coming, the men along with the women, every willing-hearted one . . . Every man and woman whose hearts incited them to bring something for all the work that Jehovah had commanded to make by means of Moses did so; the sons of Israel brought a voluntary offering to Jehovah.”—Exodus 35:21, 22, 29.
It is true that Jehovah had specified the various kinds of materials to be used in the construction of the tabernacle, but the Israelites were not in any way goaded on to contribute. No, they did so willingly, voluntarily and most liberally in response to what Jehovah had told Moses previously: “Let every willing-hearted one bring it as Jehovah’s contribution.”—Exodus 35:5; 36:4-7.
When the tabernacle had served its purpose and the temple was about to be constructed, King David made his personal contribution toward the temple building. After that he asked the people: “Who is there volunteering to fill his hand today with a gift for Jehovah?” What was the response? “The people gave way to rejoicing over their making voluntary offerings, for it was with a complete heart that they made voluntary offerings to Jehovah; and even David the king himself rejoiced with great joy.”—1 Chronicles 29:5, 9.
On that occasion David offered a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving to Jehovah for the spirit of willingness shown by all the people. Among other things, he said: “And yet, who am I and who are my people, that we should retain power to make voluntary offerings like this? For everything is from you, and out of your own hand we have given to you.” (1Ch 29 Verse 14) This again underscores the fact that when we offer any gift to Jehovah, we are merely returning what he, out of the goodness of his heart, has already given to us. We are just custodians of what is his.
Following King David’s death, his son Solomon used these many “voluntary offerings” as Jehovah had directed in building a glorious temple. And as long as he remained faithful in his worship of God, he and his people dwelt in peace and security. We read: “Judah and Israel continued to dwell in security, . . . from Dan to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.” (1 Kings 4:25) Stores were filled, wine vats overflowed—as long as Israel ‘honored Jehovah with their valuable things.’
Doing It in Our Day
We are many centuries removed from those days, but it is still the course of wisdom for true worshipers to ‘honor Jehovah with their valuable things.’ When we contribute our time, efforts and material things, really our all, to advance the Kingdom interests, we are merely returning to Jehovah what rightfully belongs to him. As Paul asks: “What do you have that you did not receive?”—1 Corinthians 4:7.
However, here is something always to remember: The size of any contribution to the Kingdom work does not necessarily give a true picture of the giver’s generosity. Do you recall that Jesus was once watching different ones depositing money in the temple’s treasury chest? The rich were pouring in many coins. But Jesus was so impressed by the wholehearted generosity of a needy woman who dropped in only two coins of little value that he said: “I tell you this, . . . this poor widow has given more than any of the others; for those others who have given had more than enough, but she, with less than enough, has given all that she had to live on.”—Mark 12:43, 44, The New English Bible.
That same thought was emphasized by the apostle Paul in writing to the congregation in Corinth about contributions to aid poor fellow Christians. He said: “If the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have.”—2 Corinthians 8:12.
Worldwide Expansion—How Possible
Today Jehovah’s Witnesses are thrilled to observe the worldwide progress being made in the preaching of “this good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 24:14) Many interesting reports have been printed recently in the Watchtower and Awake! magazines describing the expansive building programs in many lands. This expansion is necessary because thousands of persons are coming into Jehovah’s organization. In some cases additional land has been purchased so that new missionary homes, branch offices, Bethel homes and printing plants can be constructed. In other cases, existing branch properties have been enlarged. Of the 106 branches worldwide, the following are still involved in construction projects: Australia, Bolivia, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Martinique, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tahiti, United States, Zaire and Zambia.
As in the days of ancient Israel, so today these theocratic projects have been made possible by the voluntary contributions of those who have ‘honored Jehovah with their valuable things.’ We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone whose ‘heart impelled him’ in such a way.
And we are confident that in the future Jehovah’s spirit will continue to stir up the hearts of his people to support the ever-expanding need of the Kingdom work. If you feel moved to give such support, send your contribution to the local branch office of the Watch Tower Society in your country. Should you live in the United States, please send any contributions to the Office of the Secretary and Treasurer, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201. Every donation will receive an acknowledgment.
Jehovah’s Promises Fulfilled
Jehovah promised: “Then your stores of supply will be filled with plenty; and with new wine your own press vats will overflow.” Has our loving God fulfilled his promise in our day? From a spiritual standpoint—Yes, he certainly has fulfilled his promise! The “floodgates of the heavens” have been opened, and Jehovah has ‘emptied out upon us a blessing until there is no more want.’—Proverbs 3:10; Malachi 3:10.
Consider, for example, the constant supply of “food at the proper time” provided by the “faithful steward.” (Matthew 24:45-47; Luke 12:42-44) There is also the loving spiritual oversight through the elders in the congregations, circuits and districts. Further, we enjoy so much the upbuilding circuit assemblies and district conventions. All these blessings testify to there being “no more want.” They have the same effect as “new wine” on Jehovah’s worshipers—they ‘make the heart rejoice.’—Psalm 104:15.
Look also at the fulfillment of this promised blessing from another viewpoint. Jehovah has certainly provided us with all the up-to-date equipment we need to speed up the distribution of the “good news” by means of the printed page, and to present it now in such a way that it will appeal to both the eye and the ear.
However, the wisdom of Solomon’s words about ‘honoring Jehovah with our valuable things’ can find its outworking in the personal lives of the devoted servants of God. How? By giving of themselves in his “sacred service.” (Romans 12:1) Ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses who have spent many years in the ministry, especially the full-time ministry, and what will you hear? That they have personally experienced in their daily life the fulfillment of the psalmist’s heartfelt words: “A young man I used to be, I have also grown old, and yet I have not seen anyone righteous left entirely, nor his offspring looking for bread.”—Psalm 37:25.
Have you found the key to unlock the door of opportunity to honor Jehovah? Are you using it? If you are, then surely you are experiencing the truthfulness of Solomon’s further words of wisdom: “The blessing of Jehovah—that is what makes rich, and he adds no pain with it.”—Proverbs 10:22.