Daily Thought for: 16th September
COMMUNICATE UNTO HIM THAT TEACHETH
Galatians 6. 6
The unmuzzled mouth of the ox, Deut. 25. 4, the ungleaned corners of the harvest field, Lev. 23. 22, and the tithes of the children of Israel, Num. 18. 24, indicate that God made provision for the animal who labours, for the poor and stranger and also for the Levite employed in His service. In addition there were times when God directly met the needs of His workers, a well known example being the brook and the ravens which sustained His prophet Elijah.
Old Testament principles and examples are mirrored in the New Testament. The apostle indicates to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 that he and Barnabas, who had laboured among them, had a right to be maintained by them, even though he did not exercise it. Similarly, the elder who rules well and labours in the word and doctrine is worthy of double honour, in view of the fact that his time is spent in the work of the Lord to his financial detriment, 1 Tim. 5. 17-18.
The apostle argues to the Corinthians that as he had sown to them spiritual things they should sow to him carnal, or material, things. Elsewhere, he praises the Philippians that they had once and again sent to his necessity, Phil. 4. 16, when he was in Thessalonica as they had also done at other times. ‘The labourer is worthy of his reward’, 1 Tim. 5. 18. Even our Lord Jesus Christ was in receipt of the material benefit of those who ministered to Him of their substance, Luke 8. 3. ‘They which preach the gospel should live of the gospel’, 1 Cor. 9. 14.
This responsibility to meet the material needs of those who are engaged in the work of the Lord falls upon assemblies, as is evidenced in the cases of the Corinthians and the Philippians; but this verse teaches that it also extends to the individual. This responsibility is not only to those whose whole time is devoted to the Lord’s work but to all those who teach God’s word to their own financial detriment. Loss of opportunity for promotion, expenditure on expensive but necessary books and stationery and travelling expenses are all costly and should be considered by all those who are taught in the word. Let us do what this verse enjoins to God’s glory and to the benefit of His servants.