As to the handling of the gifts which have been brought together, how important are the Apostle’s words, “avoiding this, that any man should blame us in the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us: for we take thought for things honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Cor. 8:20, 21)! Ezra’s care provides a lesson for us in this connection. He separates twelve “of the chiefs (R.V.) of the priests,” weighing the offering, reminding them of their holy character, and charging them to watch, and keep the gifts until they weighed them before those responsible in Jerusalem (Ezra 8:24-29). So Paul sees to it that at least more than one brother should deal with the offering from the church at Corinth. “Whomsoever ye shall approve by letters (i.e., to the saints in Jerusalem), them,” he says, “will I send to carry your bounty to Jerusalem,” “and if it be meet for me to go also, they shall go with me” (I Cor. 16:3, 4).
In all our giving we do well to follow the example of the saints in Macedonia, who “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5). They were His already by redemptive grace, but they evidently made it a special matter of realizing, in this presentation of themselves, that they were not simply giving for a particular purpose, but were doing it unto Him. Just as we are individually and collectively in true fellowship with the Lord, so we shall be “faithful in the unrighteous mammon” and so we shall be entrusted “with the true riches.” If that attitude towards Him characterizes our giving, we shall be cheerful givers, whom “the Lord loveth.” “The liberal deviseth liberal things; and in liberal things shall he continue” (Isa. 32:8).