Thought for the Day
Verses 25-26 – The lazy soul does not want to provide for himself, but looks to others to care for him. We all experience hard times, but this verse is talking about a habitually lazy person, not a truly needy person. Slothful people are greedy, but their unwillingness to provide for themselves frustrates them. They live in a “dream world,” desiring things, but never taking the responsibility to obtain them. They also look for easy ways to make money. Many take up gambling or turn to illegal ways of gaining money. We need to pray for slothful people, since the Lord desires to change their lives and give them a desire to work.
The righteous man is entirely different; he reaches out and gives. He does not try to withhold those things that he is able to help others with. He does not have to be told to help others because his new nature in Christ desires to give. Jesus demonstrated God’s own selfless nature. God did not withhold His most precious possession (His own Son), but sacrificed Him, so that all who turn to Him could be saved: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Verse 27 – When the wicked make a sacrifice to appease God without truly surrendering to Him, it is an abomination in the eyes of God. People often use gifts to win approval. It may work with man, but not with God. God cannot be “bought.” There is only one thing that will move the hand of God, and that is our faith and obedience. When a person gives up something in order to manipulate God; it constitutes a form of “tempting God.” When the Pharisees tried this, God did not respond favorably to them. “And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation” (Mark 8:11-12).
The Pharisees had no intention of accepting Jesus. They tempted Him to act on His own to prove Himself, and not in submission to the Father’s will. They echoed their father, the devil, who had tempted Jesus to throw Himself from the temple, inferring that when the people saw the angels rescue Him, they would believe that He was the Messiah.
Because God knows what is in the heart of every person, we cannot fool Him about our intentions. As Jesus showed us, the only way to come to God is in total surrender to His will. He then will answer our questions and also answer our prayers. In fact, He will answer any prayer prayed in faith (1 John 3:22) that is in line with the Word of God.