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Receiving Gifts-Devotions with Dienece

I thought it fitting that just after Christmas we should talk about gifts we've received. I know most people talk about New Year's resolutions on January 1st, but after we've finished talking about gifts, you may find this devotional proves pertinent to your list after all.

The king by judgement establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it. Proverbs. 29:4

Now, 'gifts' in this context really means bribes, and that's certainly true that accepting bribes will overthrow a kingdom, but many of King Solomon's wives and concubines were a 'gift.' He allowed those gifts to mean more to him than God did, and they turned his heart away from God.

One of Solomon's descendants, the wise and noble King Hezekiah, also accepted a 'get better soon' gift from Berodach-baladan of Babylon (2 Kings 20). Then with pride King Hezekiah showed the enemy all his riches and glory. God said, for King Hezekiah's folly, Babylon would take everything shown to them.

What would have happened if King Solomon had married a girl from Israel and clung to her and her alone?

What if King Hezekiah had simply said, 'Thank you. That's so kind'? Then perhaps, he could have taken the men to the temple to show them how to worship his God instead of getting cocky and boasting about his blessings as if they were his own accomplishments.

We definitely shouldn't accept bribes, but I think we ought to be careful about gifts too. Some come with serious strings attached, but even others would be harmless had we not elevated them above God in our affections.

Nothing anyone has given you can equal the gifts God has given.

We live and move and have our being thanks to God. He has offered His Son to take our place in death. He gives us eternal life. All that we have and are is because of Him.

Enjoy the gifts given you, but don't let them mean more to you than God does.

Image from wix media

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