Generosity

Devotional

Introduction to the term generosity 


  "But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand." Is 32:8


  The term generosity is not much used in the KJV or NKJV Bible, appearing only a dozen times. It would appear that the Hebrew language did not have a word for generosity and so used words with an implication of generosity. Thus, when you were a blessing to people, you were generous, and so they used the word for blessing. Another word they used was willingness. If you were willing to help you were generous and so they used the word willing.


Putting these two words together, generosity becomes a willingness to be a blessing.


Generosity is not listed as one of the fruit of the Spirit nor is it listed in the characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13. The word appears 5 times in the Biblical text of the NKJV Bible, 3 times referring to the generosity of a king (Solomon and Ahasuerus) in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament, when Paul says that our giving should be a matter of generosity and not compulsion. 


In contrast, the word love appears 500 times equally divided between the New Testament and the Old, as a description of God and his people. Generosity is love in action, and while the Bible describes these actions in detail in passages like The Good Samaritan and the Sheep and Goats passage of Matthew 25, it does not use the term generosity.


Isaiah 32 describes the Messianic Kingdom, where righteousness and justice reign. In this kingdom, the evil and wicked are caught in their web of deceit and those who are generous are established because of their generosity. This is not karma; it is human nature as detailed by Jesus in His statement, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”. When we are generous, others are generous with us and so by the sharing of resources within the community the generous are established.


In an interesting picture of heaven, a scene is presented of a feast table and people seated around it, but each person has a stick tied to his arms so that he cannot bend his elbows. However, it is not a problem as each person feeds the other. However, in hell, where each tries to feed himself, they all go hungry.


   


Have you found generosity a sure foundation in your life?