Ecclesiastes 11:1-2: Being a Blessing
Read: Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
The reflections in Chapters 11 and 12 are the beginning of the end of the book of Ecclesiastes that reflects on the finality of life and how one should live in light of this. The Preacher begins these reflections by talking about charitable giving and being a blessing to others. He seems to be pessimistic and almost a miser in many ways as he massed fortunes. But in all this, the Preacher concludes, contrary to popular belief, that charitable acts have benefit. The Preacher says that one should “cast there bread on the water” and find it there later and that one should divide his fortune too. The preacher here is encouraging acts of a charity and being a blessing to others. Such acts can have a high return on investment.
Charitable giving is something that exists throughout the Bible. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 encourages those with means to give freely to those in need. Proverbs 11:24-25 and Proverbs 22:9 encourage the wealthy to be generous in their giving rather than miserly. The entire story of Ruth talks about the charity of Boaz towards Ruth and Naomi. Jesus says that it should be done for charities sake rather than trying to be braggadocios about it (Matthew 6:1-4). The early Christians sold their possessions shared the proceeds with those in need (Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:34-37, Acts 11:29-30, Romans 15:25-28). The act of giving to others in need is undoubtedly an integral part of what could be called “normal” Christian behavior.
The ultimate purpose of blessings is so that the salvation of God will be known among the nations. The Psalmist in Psalm 67 asks God for blessing to this end. He wants the ends of the earth to worship God because of the blessings that God pours out on the earth. The ultimate blessing God gave came through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and resurrected from the grave to make a way for everyone to receive salvation from God. At the end of the age, there will be a multitude from every tribe, tongue, and nation worshipping before God (Revelation 5:9). The Preacher is correct in noting that blessings have a good return on an investment. God uses it as a means to draw the nations to himself. In the same manner, Christians to should be willing to bless others through charitable giving!
Lord, help me to bless others through what you have blessed me with!