Thursday, November 27. 2 Corinthians 7 – 9

“Too much talk and not enough action” is a line from an old Paul Revere and the Raiders song about things not going right in the world and why that is. The line always come to mind when I read 2 Corinthians 9.

For over a year, Paul has been planning and encouraging Christians in Greece and Asia Minor to take up a relief collection for their poor brethren in Judea. He has had two goals in mind: first, of course, he wants to relieve the suffering of the brethren there. But second, he hopes to create a bond between the two groups: Jews and Gentiles. His hope is that Jewish Christians will praise God for the obedience that accompanies the gentiles confession of the gospel of Christ (9:13).

The Corinthians seemed eager to jump on the bandwagon. But alas, there has been “too much talk and not enough action.” From each contributing congregation, Paul is also calling for them to send a representative of their church to accompany their contribution to the congregation in Jerusalem. His concern is that the little group will get to Corinth and there will have been no contribution. So . . . he’s sending some representatives early to make sure things go right. This is the practical part of this chapter.

But there is an instructive part. First, a principal from scripture: when it comes to helping the poor, God has high regard for those who give generously (see Proverbs 11:24-25; 22:9 and Deuteronomy 15:7-10). Second, to be generous toward the needy is to adopt the attitude of God (compare verse 9 with Psalm 112:9). Third, Paul suggests a reason God blesses generously is so that the recipients of His blessings can likewise be generous. Finally, he writes that when we are generous with the needy, it results in thanksgiving to God.

The child of God is an heir of God. We should act like the wealthy people we really are.