Giving Our Best
When God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience, He demanded from him his best: “Take now thy son, thine only [son], whom thou lovest, Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and there offer him up for a burnt-offering”, (Gen. 22: 2). Does He ask less of us? Let us in the secret of our hearts answer this question - Has He the best of my affections, of my intellect, of my wealth, of my time, of my all? It is a searching question, which we do well to seek to answer truthfully here, since we assuredly shall have to do so at the judgement-seat of Christ.
Who is it that claims our best? It is He who gave us His very best, even the Son of His love, sending Him to die for us. Has he not done for us His very best in making us His sons, bringing us into the intimate circle of His grace and glory, and giving us an incorruptible and unfading inheritance in heaven? When His claims are measured by His blessings, our hearts will be occupied with the privilege of giving Him our best, rather than the obligation to do it. Hence when Paul pleads for liberality in giving he reminds the saints of God's "unspeakable free gift", (2 Cor. 9: 15).
In Numbers 18: 12, we read of the offerings which were to be the portion of Aaron and his children: "All the best of the oil, and all the best of the new wine, and of the wheat, the first-fruits of them which they give to Jehovah, have I given thee". Again in verse 29, of the Levites we read, "Out of all that is given you ye shall offer the whole heave-offering to Jehovah,-of all the best thereof the hallowed part thereof". "And" it is added "ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, if ye heave from it the best of it", (v 32). God's portion was to be the best portion. Yet before the Great Searcher of hearts can we honestly say that we have given Him our absolute best? "I am a great King, saith Jehovah of hosts, and my name is terrible among the nations" (Mal. 1: 14). Is it right to offer God anything less than our best? "If ye offer the lame and sick is it not evil?" (v 8).
How solemn a thought is that already quoted from Numbers, as to bearing sin for not giving the best to God! God would raise our giving to a privilege but He does not forego His claim. This claim, if not met, involves sin, the measure of which we shall know at the judgement-seat of Christ. May the Church of God be roused to a sense of her responsibility! Individually or collectively we shall never get God's best, in present enjoyment or future reward, unless God gets our best. To Abraham it was said: "By myself I swear, saith Jehovah, that because thou hast done this, and has not withheld thy son, thine only [son], I will richly bless thee, and greatly multiply thy seed, as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because thou hast hearkened to my voice" (Gen, 22: 16-18). God asked for Abraham's best and Abraham gave it, and so God in the language of Matthew 19: 29, returned it "a hundredfold". Oh that this word best would ring more in our hearts and consciences!