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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Thief Who Tithed

            Years ago, I remember hearing my college preacher, Rick Atchley, mention in a sermon about an article he had read in a newspaper. A widow, living in New Jersey, was robbed of $7000 in jewelry, coins, and dollar bills. It was everything valuable that she owned.
            The thief, going through the loot, had noticed that the widow had set aside some money in an envelope for a church where she worshipped. Consequently, the robber took that money, addressed the envelope to the church, put a stamp on it, mailed it off, and kept the rest for himself.
            It was as if he was saying, "It wouldn't be right to take something that belongs to the church. But what you can get from people in the world you take and stick in your pocket."
            Rick applied that to God’s people in the book of Amos. They were dividing their lives into two categories: one dedicated to the Lord on the Sabbath (Sundays for us) and the other dedicated to the rest of the week—when they could exploit people.
            When we take from people, we are taking from God.
            When we exploit people, we are exploiting God.

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