23 AUGUST 365 Days with Calvin

Hoarding Manna

As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. 2 Corinthians 8:15

suggested further reading: Exodus 16

The Lord has not prescribed to us a homer or any other measure by which the food of each day is to be regulated, but he has imposed upon us frugality and temperance, and has forbidden that anyone should go to excess, taking advantage of his abundance.

So let those who have riches, whether left by inheritance or procured by industry and efforts, consider that their abundance is not intended to be exhibited in intemperance or excess but to relieve the necessities of their brethren. For whatever we have is manna, regardless of where it comes from, provided it is really ours. Riches acquired by fraud and unlawful strategies are unworthy to be called manna, but are rather quails sent by the anger of God (Num. 11:31).

As in hoarding manna, either from excessive greed or from distrust, what is saved immediately putrefies, so we need not doubt that the riches that are heaped up at the expense of other people are also accursed and will soon perish. Furthermore, that happens in connection with the ruin of the owner. So we are not to think that the way to increase our possessions is to work toward our own advantage for a long time while defrauding those who are poor of the beneficence that we owe them.

I acknowledge, indeed, that equality is not imposed upon us to make it unlawful for the rich to live in greater elegance than the poor, but equality is to be observed in such a way that no one is allowed to starve, and no one hoards his abundance at the expense of defrauding others.

for meditation: Thinking of our money as manna is an excellent way to remember its origin and its intent. Hoarding will bring no gain. If the Lord has blessed us with great gifts, we should determine how we can best use them in his service and for the poor in our fellowship. If we have little, we should not be anxious but trust that the Lord will move the hearts of those who have more than us to help us.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 254). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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