“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so” (Gen. 1:29-30).
Here is the first time in the Bible that the term “give” is found. It does not express man giving to God but God giving to man and to His creation. James wrote of God “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Consider three gifts involved in the fact that God gives.
- God Gives Resources for Life. Paul stated of God to the idolatrous philosophers of Athens, “Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;” (Acts 17:25). Solomon wrote, “Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God” (Eccl. 5:18-19). Jesus impressed upon his hearers the importance of knowing God as the abundant supplier. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:11).
- God Gives Revelation to Guide Life. God knows that man wanders if left without revelation (cf. Amos 8:11-12). Man cannot direct his own steps by his own wisdom (cf. Jer. 10:23). The Bible is, therefore, one of the greatest gifts of God to mankind. Paul stated of divine revelation through inspired men, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7). James wrote, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Solomon wrote, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Prov. 2:6).
- God Gives Redemption and the Resurrection for Eternal Life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Paul wrote, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:56-57). The abundance of physical things pales in insignificance if in this life only we have hope (cf. 1 Cor. 15:19). Man’s salvation is tied to the grace of God (cf. Eph. 2:1-9). If God had not given, man would be hopelessly lost. Seeing that God has given that man might be delivered from both sin and the cemetery, then he should labor abundantly knowing that such is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:10; 58).