Giver Blessing 3: Responsive Environment
Beloved, I call your spirit to attention, and I invite the Giver portion to come explore God’s gifts to you.
You, Giver, were made to be transformational. You make things happen. Change occurs around you. In the ecosystem of the human community, you are constantly, obviously, openly making a difference wherever you are.
Father made you that way, and it is good. Where others see lack, you see opportunities. Where others see obstacles, you find alternative means of creating possibilities.
While there is an innate ability in you to thrive anywhere, God delights in giving you an environment that is responsive to your particular skill set.
Consider Cain, the first recorded Giver. One of God’s judgments on Cain was that the earth would no longer yield its strength to Cain. While the whole world was already under the Adamic curse which somewhat limited what the earth would yield to man, it appears that Cain had been graced with an unusual ability to receive resources from the soil.
His desire to bring a plant harvest to the altar was presumably based on the fact that he got an extraordinary yield per acre, and his crops were premium quality. This is an illustration of another of God’s gifts to you, the Giver: an environment that responds to the skill of the Giver.
Consider the Giver Abraham. He lived in Mesopotamia, Syria, Canaan and Egypt at different times in his life. Each of these areas had a distinct culture, economic fabric and climate. He thrived in each. Even though the world changed more slowly back then, the fact remains that his life spanned almost two centuries, and the world must have changed around him many ways and many times.
In every place he lived, God made the economic and natural environments respond to him strongly. In the natural, this should not have happened. He was a foreigner. He was a migrant. He was a cattleman, and historically cattlemen have been flash points for conflict because they need so much open range and this offends the farming community. Others around him were native to the region and had an economic presence before he arrived.
He should have been at a distinct disadvantage on all counts, except that God MADE the community and the environment respond to him for his well being. This is God’s gift to Givers.
Look at Job at the end of his season of devouring. The handful of friends around him each gave him a silver coin and a gold ring. While some money is better than none, this could hardly represent any significant amount of venture capital.
However, Job’s real treasure was in the gift of God to him which made his economic environment responsive to him. He took that miniscule amount of capital and was able to leverage it, in a short time, into a staggering fortune, twice what he had before.
This is God’s gift to the Giver – a responsive environment.
How else do you explain the Giver Elisha’s wealth? When Elijah called him to the Prophetic office, he was plowing a field with twelve pair of oxen. This shouts of wealth. First of all, there had to be a very large field to need 12 plows, each pulled by a pair of oxen. Second, you had to have 12 sons or hired men. The fact that Elisha was on the last plow suggests he was keeping an eye on the 11 employees or slaves ahead of him.
BUT, how can this be? Israel had just come out of a three year drought compliments of Elijah and God. The king himself had been canvassing the nation looking for a little bit of grazing for the few horses they had left in the royal stable. That is a picture of absolute devastation of the agricultural scene.
Elisha had obviously opted out of the ecological and economic disaster. At the end of the drought, he still had large fields, lots of capital tied up in equipment, plenty of employees and dozens of oxen.
Perhaps because in the midst of a national judgment, the land was still responding to the Giver, releasing its strength to him, because that is how God intended it to be.
It is God’s gift to the Giver.
How about Joseph of Arimathea? He was a theologian by trade, a member of the intelligentsia in Jesus’ day. How did he end up extracting great wealth from Britain through mining and refining tin then trading it around the Mediterranean region?
Were there no miners, refiners and traders in Britain before he came? Were his the only ships on the sea? The answer lies not in the natural circumstances but in the gift God gave the Givers. Their world, whether the farmer’s world of resources in soil, the merchant’s world of exchange or the industrialist’s world of mines and refineries, releases its strength to them, by God’s decree.
We welcome you in our midst, Giver. We need you in our community so that through you we can also access the treasures God has placed in our midst. You are most welcome among us. We bless you in the name of our King, Jesus Christ.
University of Leiden
Art section of the History Library
October 20, 2008
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