Finances Part II - Paying Tribute to God Most High (Mal 3; Heb 7)
Last week we had the great privilege of looking at Isaiah 60 and its vision of the restoration, the return from exile that would be accomplished through the instrumentality and power of the Servant of the Lord. When the Lord acted to bring not only Israel but also the nations out of exile, the Servant of the Lord would come and, simultaneously, Zion would be lifted up as the chief of the mountains, as the light of the world. As a result, the nations would stream to Zion, bringing Zion’s sons and daughters home and bringing their wealth as a sign of tribute and loyalty to Zion and, what’s more important, to Zion’s Lord.
Through exploring Isaiah, we found that wealth is viewed in the passage as a gift from God that comes in various shapes and sizes. Further, we found that this wealth is part of the worship which we offer up in tribute to the Triune God. The loyalty that we once showed to other gods by offering our tribute to them, we now display toward the living God by bringing our tribute to Him. When we come to worship each Lord’s Day, we don’t come bringing merely our spirits or our thoughts, we come bringing our whole selves – including our labor and the produce thereof.
But this raises the question, does it not, what portion of that which we produce is to be brought to Zion? How exactly do we go about paying tribute, manifesting our loyalty to the Lord? There are many things which modern culture, even Christian culture sad to say, has forgotten. Among them is the principle of paying tribute. How do we do this? What exactly does it mean to bring our wealth into Zion? How much should we bring?
Stuart Bryan is the pastor of Trinity Church. He and his wife, Paige, have seven children, four homegrown, two adopted from the lovely land of Guatemala, and one adopted from Ukraine. Stuart earned his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth College and his M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.