‘God’s gift of a woman was unique. What an amazing gift God gave the first human couple.’
These words, found in the Watchtower comments of today’s’ text, remind us of something we may not fully recognize or appreciate – that Jehovah is a gift giver. Jehovah enjoys giving gifts and gives only the best of gifts. Of course the greatest gift God has given us, besides our lives, is the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus, who by the way is the second greatest giver of gifts to man.
From what I could find, the word ‘gift’ comes from the thought of ‘something that is given’. There are various reasons and motives why something would be given to another person, but the greatest reason is for no other reason than love. While the world recently experienced its yearly celebration of exchanging gifts and gift giving, I was reminded of what my father told me as a young child growing up. My father said, “We don’t need the calendar to give us a reason to give a gift, and we don’t need to give a gift because someone has given us a gift. We can give a gift whenever our heart moves us to give, and for no other reason then because.”
It’s a terrible feeling to feel obligated to give a gift, at odds as even what to give someone who has given us a gift. It is equally confusing how to respond when given a gift that we neither want nor appreciate (my thoughts turn to the story of the White Elephant). But when gifts are given out of a pure motive (love) and not expected to reciprocated, this is when the example Jehovah set is truly being imitated, for who of us can ever repay Jehovah for the gifts He has given us?
When Jehovah gave Adam the gift of a woman, Jehovah hoped that Adam would appreciate and cherish this very personal gift. And did Jehovah expect a gift in return. No. Even Adams obedience wasn’t expected as a result of this gift. Instead, obedience was connected with receiving blessings from Jehovah, as well as providing man and woman a means to demonstrate their acknowledgment that Jehovah had the right to govern and rule. Additionally, only by mankind being obedient would Jehovah accomplish His purpose for them, which is an interesting thought because instead of working to accomplish His purpose alone, Jehovah chose to allow Jesus, the angles and mankind to work alongside Him to accomplish the purpose of all of our very existence. That in itself is another gift from God to us.
What has Jehovah given you? What gift from the Creator do you cherish? Can you list the various gifts you have received from the Most High of the universe? How does one go about expressing their gratitude and appreciation for these gifts, which we can never repay and aren’t expected to? In the scriptures, we find Abel, Noah and other who followed, offering to Jehovah a burnt sacrifice of a lamb on an altar. Because this is what the faithful men of old did and were favored by God, does this mean we should do it too? What can we do today to demonstrate of gratitude and appreciation to Jehovah? Well, ultimately, what does Jehovah want from man? What did Jehovah want from Adam and Eve? What did Jesus give God that made his sacrificial death meaningful?
Obedience. The only gift we can give to Jehovah is the single thing only you can give Him – your obedience. Obedience in this case involves maintaining ones integrity to God, having absolute confidence in Jehovah, giving Him our allegiance and putting our complete faith in Him. Jehovah doesn’t expect us to be perfect and knows that we will mess up and fall short of His expectations. But another gift Jehovah extends is loving forgiveness, which enables Him to see beyond our failings and see what we can be after the effects of the ransom sacrifice have been extended on us, as individuals. That in itself is gift enough to make us want to try to give Jehovah our best, and extend forgiveness to others.
It’s clear that Jehovah loves mankind, and when we take the time to meditate on the marvelous gifts God has given us it should stir our hearts to cherish these gifts, including one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given – our lives.