Give to the LORD the glory due to his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.…
This psalm is one continuous appeal for all to render praise unto the Lord. Not men alone, though they, of course, chief of all, are to join in the song unto the Lord; but the heavens, the earth, the sea, the fields, the trees, - all are to testify to their Creator's praise. And the psalm tells of a threefold expression of this joy in God.
1. The song. All are to join in; no stopping to inquire into the motives, but all are to sing (ver. 1). It will be good even for evil men, as well as the people of God, to unite in his praise. It may help them to pass over to the side of God's people.
2. Preaching. The very idea of missions as here set forth is the overflowing, the exuberance, of the Church's joy. So only can missions really succeed (see homily on ver. 3).
3. Offerings. Of these we would specially speak. For our text lays down -
I. THE DUTY OF OFFERING TO GOD.
1. The witnesses to this will of God are numerous.
(1) The patriarchs. See their sacrifices. Noah's offerings. Abraham's tithes (Genesis 14:20). Jacob's vow (Genesis 28:22).
(2) The Jews. The tithes they had to pay amounted to nearly a third of their income. The treasury was a constituent part of the temple, and large sums were continually cast in there (Mark 12:41-43).
(3) The early Church. They had a common fund (Acts 2:44, 45). Paul and Barnabas (Acts 11:29, 30) gathered for the poor of Jerusalem. Paul from the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16:1). Christ said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (see parable of unjust steward, Matthew 24:6, etc.);
2. The need of it is so great. Think of the multiplied objects which call for such offerings. The Church of God needs such aid for the maintenance of her ministers, her fabric, her missions, and her varied religious agencies. The poor rightly claim our help. If we have not compassion for them, how dwelleth the love of God in us? Our own spiritual life demands that we make such offerings. The only way to overcome that idolatry of money which seduces so many is to give it away in wise and Christian manner. If we hoard and keep it, the love of it will drive out the love of God.
II. THE MANNER OF FULFILLING THIS DUTY.
1. Presenting it in the house of God when we come to worship. This was the custom of the Jews (see 1 Chronicles 16:1). Also of the early Christian Church (see 1 Corinthians 16:1; 2 Corinthians 8 and 9). St. Paul's argument on this matter is very interesting and noteworthy. He was very anxious to relieve his own countrymen; to fulfil his own promise (Galatians 2:10); to prove the reality of the faith of the Gentile Churches and their love to their Jewish brethren, and thus to heal the breach that so sadly severed the Jewish and Gentile Churches. Hence he was very anxious about this collection, and hence, also, he would be sure to seek out the best means for securing it. Hence he directed that there should be the weekly Lord's day storing for this end (1 Corinthians 16:2). Now, as this plan is so good, and no other is so commended to us, we may regard it as having special claim on our attention.
2. For it has great advantages. It takes away the temptation to neglect of this duty which arises from:
(1) The largeness of the offering asked. What is given week by week is not felt as when a great sum is asked for all at once.
(2) Delay of offering.
(4) Dependence upon the excitement of the moment. Moreover:
(5) It makes worship more real.
(6) It is far more productive
(7) It is a witness bearing for Christ.
(8) It nourishes our own spiritual life.
But, of course, this especial manner of offering is not obligatory, though it has especial sanction.
III. THE MOTIVE. Love to Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9). That is the only worthy and reliable motive. Others are sure to break down sooner or later, and to miserably fail in securing the end sought after. Let Christ possess a man's heart, all else will go along with that. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.