And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11 ESV
I began a study on Matthew today, along with Genesis and Romans. Yes, I’m tackling the Scriptures like… Well… I don’t know anything about football so I have no clever analogies involving um ‘tacklers’. Anyhow, as I was reading the above Scripture, I was led to look up what myrhh and frankincense were. Of course, I know they are a type of plant, but what was their significance in the magi bearing these gifts as an offering to the child Jesus ?
I opened up my Wycliffe Bible Dictionary and looked up frankincense and myrrh because, of course, I already know what gold is. Used among the Jews in worship, frankincense was one of the most highly valued of all ancient incense gums and its limited source of supply made it very costly and one of the most lucrative items in the great land / sea caravans from the east. Myrrh, from the same area as frankincense, was also very costly and only rulers and the extremely wealthy could afford it. The magi brought to the Lord their best that they had. They brought their most valuable possessions and offered them to Jesus.
When we bring ‘our all’ to Christ, do we truly bring our all ? When listening to the Way of the Master show a couple of weeks ago, Todd spoke of singing hymns in church and not truly living out what you’re singing. The hymn he referred to was “I Surrender All” implying that maybe some should sing “I Surrender SOME”.
All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessÃ¨d Savior,
I surrender all.
Are we like the Israelites in Malachi who gave the Lord shoddy offerings, expecting Him to be pleased with them ?
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 1:6-9 ESV
Shouldn’t the Lord Jesus, who truly gave His all, be given the same with our lives ? Whether it’s the way we live / speak / behave, the time and thought that we put into our study of His Word, our hearts, stewardship… Shouldn’t we give it all back to the Source in some way or another ?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 ESV
We CHOOSE to fall short in so many ways and James 4:17 states that whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. We choose to listen to music that does not glorify Him. We choose to live in the moment in our fleshly desires. We choose to not make the most of our time. We choose to not study. We choose to not get up early and spend the first moments of our days with Him. We choose to not defend Him at times when His name is being blasphemed. We choose not to defend His Holy Word at times. We choose, as Esau (Genesis 25) chose, to despise our birthrights (from being born again in Christ) to appease our hungers of the flesh. We choose to sin. We choose to not give Him our all.
God requires things of His people. Throughout the OT and NT are the many commands that He has for us. His entire Word is breathed by Him so all that is in His Word is there for a reason. Nothing is by mistake. From the writing of the Scriptures to the canonization of the Scriptures, the Lord was sovereign over it all. He intended for us to read His Word and obey it.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3 ESV
The Lord’s Word does not lay out anything that’s ‘oppressive’. It’s actually (or should be) a joy to follow Him, His Will, and His Word.
From this day forth, may we request of the Lord that He guides us in making those choices which are glorifying to Him and pleasing in His sight. May we truly give our all to the Christ whom gave His all for us. May we delight in all that He commands and requires from us and may it be, as the Westminster Catechism states, our chief end to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Give of your best to the Master
Naught else is worthy His love
He gave Himself for your ransom
Gave up His glory above
Laid down His life without murmur
You from sinâ€™s ruin to save
Give Him your heartâ€™s adoration
Give Him the best that you have
Give of your best to the Master
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvationâ€™s full armor
Join in the battle for truth
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce…
Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Soli DEO Gloria.