2 Corinthians 9 today, again, one of the Bible’s great chapters on giving, especially giving to the poor. It’s simply not an option for Christ followers. Paul is sending some people, headed by Titus, to collect a Corinthian offering to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem suffering from a famine. He asks in the initial verses of chapter 9 for the Corinthians to have their gift ready (evidently he had made the need known to them a year earlier).
But he wants to make sure their giving is:
-a willing gift, not done under pressure (vs 5). -done individually, each person deciding how much he/she can give (vs 7) -given cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver (the word “cheerful” here is “hilarios” in Greek, the word from which we get “hilarious”...God loves a hilarious giver. But, I think, for the sake of the poor, he will take a gift from a grump!).
Paul says in vs 6 that as we sow seeds the harvest comes back to us. If we sow only a few seeds, that’s what we can expect in return. If we sow a lot of seeds, that’s what we can expect in return. And, vs 8, God promises to meet our ever NEED (not GREEDS) as we faithfully give, especially to the poor (vs 9). We are certain of this because of God’s generosity to all of us (vs 10).
And then something amazing occurs. We give our gift to the poor and, for example, the Jerusalem Christians erupt in thanksgiving and praise, thus proving the Good News has really changed these Gentile hearts. Moreover, and this is special, the poor there start praying for the rich who have given (vs 14). As I read this verse, I wonder who gets the better deal, the poor in Jerusalem who need the financial gift or the poor in spirit in Corinth who need the prayers of faith of the Jerusalem poor?
The final verse of the chapter, vs 15, concludes well the entire focus on giving: “Thank God for his Son—a gift too wonderful for words.”
All our giving, especially to the poor, is rooted in God’s gift of Jesus to us. We were so poor but now made rich through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
All praise and honor to Him!