MUSINGS – November 21, 2018
FAITH OR FATALISM
As Jesus sat facing the temple offering box, he watched how much money people put into it. Many rich people put in large amounts. A poor widow dropped in two small coins, worth less than a cent. He called his disciples and said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: This poor widow has given more than all the others. All of them have given what they could spare. But she, in her poverty, has given everything she had to live on.”
For years I have heard sermons on the great faith this woman had. Only I’m not sure that faith was what drove her motives.
Jesus observed this woman putting in the last of her money and his only comment was that she had given everything that she had to live on.
I find it interesting that he didn’t say something like, ” Her faith will be richly rewarded.” Indeed his only comment was that she had given more than the others. He said nothing at all the praise her faith for doing this nor did he condemn her for her foolishness in giving everything she had to the temple.
So I’m left wondering why she did what she did. Was she giving up? Did she realize that these two coins weren’t going to sustain her so she might as well give them away. Was it fatalism that drove her actions like the widow in 1Kings 17:12 who told Elijah, “I solemnly swear, as the LORD your God lives, I didn’t bake any bread. I have one handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I’m gathering wood. I’m going to prepare something for myself and my son so that we can eat it and then die.” She was resigned to die. That is not seem act of faith.
On the other hand perhaps the woman with the two coins really believed Malachi 3:10 which said,
“Bring one-tenth of your income into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,” says the LORD of Armies. “See if I won’t open the windows of heaven for you and flood you with blessings. Perhaps all those sermons were correct and this woman’s faith was greater than all the rest. And by the way, the woman who fed Elijah was rewarded,
The jar of flour never became empty, and the jug always contained olive oil, as the LORD had promised through Elijah. (1 Kings 17:16)
How is your faith?
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