3/31/19 - All Good Things From God
“The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalms 24:1)
One of the numerous problems in the early church in Corinth was caused by the actions of some of the members who had not yet left behind their selfish ways after they became disciples of Christ. They had not fully developed an understanding of stewardship, kindness, and care for others.
The city of Corinth was full of idols. Many people would come to the idol temples, especially at festival times and would spend much hard-earned money to bring sacrifices to the idols. Leftovers were sold in markets, called shambles, at discount prices. This became an opportunity for the poor to buy good quality meat at affordable prices. However, the commandments to the Gentiles (Acts 15:29) forbade the eating of meats that had been offered to idols. This created a problem both for the poor and an opportunity that was used for Christians to criticize one another. Some said, “Meat is meat wherever it comes from.” Others insisted on questioning everything they put in their mouths.
The inspired writer’s answer was, (paraphrased) “Meat is meat. Be still and eat.” He told them not to ask questions (for conscience sake), but when someone told them a certain meat had been offered to an idol, they should abstain (for conscience sake). Then he reminded them of two important things. First, an idol is not a real God. An idol is nothing. Second, he quoted from the Psalms to remind them that all good things come, not from a dumb and helpless idol, but from the great and powerful God who created and sustains all the world and us, too.
When we look at the blessings that God has granted to us, we naturally focus on the physical things. That’s O.K. After all, they are gifts from God. We ought to be thankful for His daily providence, as we seek from Him our daily bread. He feeds us, clothes us, houses us, heals us, strengthens us, and guides us. When we seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, all these things are added to us (Matthew 6:33).
Knowing that the Lord has been so good to us in the physical things, let us not forget to be thankful, especially before we go asking for more and more (Philippians 4:6). Then, let us remember that He also provides even greater blessings, the spiritual blessings whose value is greater than all the riches of this world. He paid the greatest price ever paid for our redemption, the blood of His beloved Son. He has revealed His will to us so that we do not have to live in doubt about how to stay in His good pleasure. He has given us His Spirit to dwell in us. He has given us great and precious promises. And He has offered us an eternal inheritance in Heaven. Let us live holy and productive lives for Jesus, looking forward to that day when we will look upon His face and be with Him forever.