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"Give portions to seven, yes to eight ..." (v. 2)
For reading & meditation:
Solomon's cynicism almost completely dissolves as we step into these last chapters. If you are like me, you are probably saying to yourself: "And not before time!" He begins this chapter with a well-known saying: "Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again" (v. 1). What Solomon is conveying in these words is this: "Be generous, share yourself with others." I like Charles Swindoll's paraphrase of this verse, which reads thus: "Don't put the bread in the deep freeze - it'll dry out. Release it." The main thought underlying this statement is not simply to give, but to give boldly, enthusiastically, and energetically. Are you bold in generosity? It is not the giving of money that is being emphasized here (although that is part of it), but the giving of oneself. When we give of ourselves generously we do not lose, for in this universe things have a way of coming back to us - both good and evil. Suppose the little boy had refused to let Jesus have the five loaves and two fishes, saying they were his and he would not let them go? He would have missed becoming the most famous little boy in history. The phrase "give portions to seven, yes to eight" is similar to our modern saying: "Give to the nth degree." It means throw away your calculators and clipboards. Give without measure. You never know when disaster is going to strike, so do your giving while you have the chance. God has opened Himself to us - generously. Ought we not to do the same to others?
O God, help me to give of myself boldly, energetically, and enthusiastically. From now on I shall be the channel and not he stopping place of all Your generosity to me. In Jesus' Name I promise it. Amen.
Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999 and is used by permission. All rights reserved.
Hughes, Selwyn. "Devotional for April 21". "Every Day Light". <http://classic.studylight.org/devos/edl/index.cgi?FirstSelectMonth=&FirstSelectDay=>. 1999.