Pictured above: Mt. Gerizim (left) and Mt. Ebal (right). In the valley between the mountains lies the city of Shechem (modern-day Nablus). CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.
The Lord used two mountains to drive home to the Jews the difference between blessings and cursings.
Through Moses, the Lord had differentiated between the two, especially in Deuteronomy 28. Then, when Joshua and the people entered the Land, they followed instructions given through Moses to plaster, write, and call out upon one mountain the blessings (Mount Gerizim). On the other, they were to write and call out the cursings (Mount Ebal). (See Deuteronomy 27; Joshua 8:33.)
It seems to me that, by and large, the Jews can tell the difference. Sometimes I think that Christians could use two mountains. They so often confuse the two. And I think the enemy helped the matter along by convincing Christians that somehow poverty is “holy.”
Sickness as well.
Something I read about the Jewish attitude toward money stuck with me. Here it is:
“Everything belongs to God. We are simply given stewardship over things. We are to be faithful over the stewardship He gives us and cause it to increase. If we are not faithful, He will give that stewardship to someone else.”
That principle is exactly what Jesus put forth in the parable of the ten talents (Matthew 25:14–29). We all want to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
By the way, I might add that an ArtScroll note on Psalm 112 says, in effect: The basic definition of blessing is increase. The definition of curse is decrease.
Our Stewardship at Migdal Arbel
When we were at Migdal Arbel on December 11 (I hope you’ll reread that blog), I thought about our stewardship there. It is so miraculous that we got that land. Only a very small percentage of land in Israel can be purchased outright. Nir Kimchi told me that if we had not gotten it so many years ago, we could not get it now.
Yet, from the beginning, I knew and realized deeply that we have been granted stewardship only for a while, for God’s purposes. This Land, including the land we own, belongs first to God. Then to the Jews. We are merely the Lord’s stewards over it for God’s purposes and for God’s timing. It is a God-given stewardship. And it must increase and grow. Building must continue and not stop for any reason. That means there must be funds to do so.
I wrote a letter to you about that before I left for this trip. I do trust you read yours. If you didn’t receive it, the letter, which I called an appeal letter, is posted online (read here). I explained therein some things about this project.
End of Year Giving
There are only a few days left for you to receive tax benefits for giving into this stewardship. Some people say it is not important to them to receive a tax deduction. And that may well be true to certain ones. [Click Here to Give.]
But, I tell you to whom it is a benefit to give you a tax deduction. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I believe our country is blessed for having recognized the giving of Christians and Jews and others doing beneficial work.
Thank you for your part in causing this stewardship to increase to the glory of God for His purposes. For I believe with all my heart that Migdal Arbel is the plan of God and the plan of God for us. And I intend with all my heart to aim toward the high calling of hearing, “Well done, My good and faithful servants.”
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