A Generous God

Day 30

Prayer for the day

Seven times a day do I praise you, because of your righteous judgments.

Scripture for the day

Exodus 23-24, Matthew 20:1-16

It’s hard to imagine generosity as an undesirable trait. Generosity, even generosity to a fault, is usually seen as something to strive for, particularly for Christians. We love to see God as a God who pours out his love on us, who lavishes his favour on us, who gives us exactly what we need and a whole bunch more. What really sticks, though, is when God pours those things out on the undeserving.

Generosity to those who don’t deserve it is something that offends our sensibilities. We scoff, we heap scorn, we sing our songs of lament and mockery, convinced that God must have made a mistake in blessing the un-bless-able. And like the landowner in Jesus’ story, God shakes his head.

The joy of generosity is stifled by the measuring of mean and base people with little left but a self-righteous sense of deservedness.

The incredible thing is that God continues to give anyway.

The people of Israel were not necessarily a deserving bunch. They were a homeless folk without much going for them. Indeed, they were runaway slaves, nomads, and whiners to boot.

But the mercy of God was poured out on this people in the form of an everlasting covenant. God drenched them in his favour, desiring for them a life lived in the presence of God and the knowledge of his holiness. He promised to fight for them, to be vigilant for them, and to strive for them, not because of their deservedness but because of his generosity. Their response to this lavished love was the response God sought, though they would continue in unfaithfulness: “we will obey.” God’s generosity engendered one response: gratitude working itself out through obedience.

God is a good and a gifting God, regardless of our hang=ups and faults. God chooses to bless, without any thought to deservedness. God simply blesses. Are we really so naive to think that we are any more deserving of God’s generosity than anyone else? Do we think we stand so far above others that where they could never merit God’s favour, we deserve it?

We stand with our brothers and sisters around the world, complete in the knowledge that God blesses, and God blesses, and then God blesses some more, in complete defiance of our unworthiness.

Thanks be to God.

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2 thoughts on “A Generous God

  1. This one really is a tough one sometimes. I can’t really think of a specific situation, but to place myself in the position that the first to be hired found themselves to be in would be hard. I could easily see myself being upset, feeling like I deserve more. But maybe that’s partially because I have such a short memory. I so easily forget that there are just as many times that I’m more similar to the last hired but are treated so generously. I find that if I can remember the latter, I cannot help but celebrate with people who find themselves in that position as well, instead of internalizing it and grumbling about what I feel I deserve.

  2. Found this a real encouragement as I read the description of the Isrealites homeless, folk even whiners. Helps me as I serve the people of breadbasket with a renewed frame of mind. I think how fortunate I am and why are others so less fortunate and have nothing. Thanks for such a giving God.

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