The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. (Psalm 145:13,14)
As Christians, we give because God has first given to us. Generosity should be a hallmark of Christian believers, because we believe in a God who has been generous to us.
Psalm 145 reminds us of the abundant generosity of God: “The eye of all look to you,” says David who wrote the psalm, “and you give them their food at the proper time.” Every person, and every creature, on earth depends on God for the most basic of provisions: for food, water, breath and life.
David was a resourceful man. He could have looked to any number of things as the reason why he has food on the table. His work and effort could have put it there, his wealth and finances (he was king after all) brought food in, his creativity and productivity enabled him to eat. But David chooses to recognise God as the source of all that he has.
God gives generously to us, so we should give generously to others. God not only enables our giving but provides the pattern for our giving as well.
David says of God, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” God gives to us with an open hand, and we should give with an open hand too.
Far too often I think of giving with a clenched fist rather than an open hand. This is mine, I have earnt it. I’ve worked hard for my money, why should I give it away? I hold on to what I think of as mine and need persuading to crowbar open my hand and share those resources with others.
I get that way because I forget that everything I have comes as a gift from God. He opens his hand to me to satisfy my needs. I should then open my hand to others to help meet their needs too.
Our church has recently held a Giving Sunday, and I always feel a bit awkward preaching about giving. I don’t want people to give to the church, either financially or in time and talents, out of a sense of duty. I don’t want people to respond because of guilt, or because the preacher nagged them to do so. My prayer is that people will respond generously because God has moved them to do so. I hope that people will give willingly with an open hand, rather than begrudgingly with a closed fist.
Will we take some time today to stop and consider all the things that God has given us? If we have food to eat, a roof over our heads, breath in our lungs, they all come from God with an open hand. Let’s also ask God for opportunities where we can open our hand – and our hearts – to others today as well.