They also gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre to bring cedar logs from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the permission which they had from Cyrus king of Persia. – Ezra 3v7
This verse falls into what basically amounts to a financial ledger of the expenses to rebuild the temple. Rebuilding the temple obviously required a great deal of resources and those resources had to be acquired in some way.
This is a couple of times now when I have noticed detailed records of payments being made for good acquired or services rendered. Paying for what we need is just a part of life.
Today’s thoughts are somewhat embryonic and may be a little unclear (so what else is new J ). These are just some things bouncing around in my head after reading this passage and trying to apply what happened here.
I take a simple thought from this – we are expected to pay our way. While I have known a fair share of generous, giving, and gracious Christians I have also known a fair share of believers who are just downright selfish. We can all get in the trap of looking for a hand out or a freebie and gaining a reputation of being a taker instead of a giver.
While there is nothing wrong with being a wise steward. There is nothing with looking for a good deal. There is nothing to indicate that we should allow ourselves to get ‘ripped off’ or to pay absurd prices. That is not being a wise steward of God’s resources.
At the same time, I think we need to be known as generous people. I don’t think being stingy is a good reputation for a believer. We need to be willing to pay our own way, or even go above and beyond and be generous with what God gives us.