7 Bible Verses About Giving: Portraits of Generosity
But in this post, we’re taking it a step further with stories about generous people in the Bible. We encourage you to look up each account and read the details for yourself.
David needed to atone for a specific sin with a specific sacrifice, so he tried to buy Araunah’s land for the sacrifice. Araunah offered it to him for free.
“But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.”
David understood the nature of God’s intention for offerings. They needed to be a sacrifice in order to show the intent of the heart.
2. The Widow of Zarephath
”Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath.
And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.”
This Bible verse about giving surprises us with the fact that God chose a person with nothing to be the one to feed Elijah. “Elijah makes her an interesting promise. If she feeds him, she’ll find that her supply of flour and oil will not run out. But the only way she’ll discover whether this promise is true is by giving away what she has.” (Source)
3. The Shunammite Woman
2 Kings 4:8–10
“One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”
This is an example of the type of response we should have to an encounter with holiness.
4. The Churches of Macedonia
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
”We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
Giving during challenging times may seem impossible, but “when we can look at our time and resources through the eyes of opportunity instead of through a veil of limitation, there’s no end to what God can do through us.” (Source)
5. The Israelites
“Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”
This Bible verse on giving show that God’s people brought more than enough to meet the need. Moses had to tell them to stop! Wouldn’t it be something to see that today?
6. The Good Samaritan
“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
This man demonstrates that generosity includes not just our money, but also our time, compassion, initiative and skill.
7. The Widow’s Mite
“He saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
This woman demonstrates that the monetary value of our gifts is measured not by the amount but by the heart.
These Bible verses about giving and the stories they contain show that giving is to be a sacrificial and natural response to awe, compassion and faith in God.