But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
I. WHAT THE EXPRESSIONS TO "DO GOOD "AND TO" COMMUNICATE" DENOTE.
1. To "do good" is to do whatever may tend to promote the good and happiness of our neighbour; to prevent any peril or misfortune he may be exposed to, or to deliver him out of any circumstances of adversity which he may be in. The goods or evils we are capable of in this world either respect our spiritual or our temporal state. If he requires our advice we ought to give it in the best manner we can; if our assistances we ought to discover a readiness to gratify him in any reasonable request.
2. To communicate, or distribute, is to set apart some proportion of those good things the providence of God has blessed us with to the benefit and relief of others.
II. WHY DOING GOOD AND COMMUNICATING ARE SACRIFICES ACCEPTABLE AND WELL-PLEASING TO GOD.
1. By beneficence and charitable actions we imitate God in one of the glorious and moral perfections of His nature. That perfection which He seems Himself to exalt above all His other attributes, and without which they would render Him rather an object of terror than love to us.
2. Hereby we do honour to the providence of God. For probably this, among other reasons, may be one why God has put so great a number of men under circumstances of want, that those who are in a better capacity may have constant occasions of exerting themselves in all the good offices of humanity and love, which are the brightest ornaments of human nature; and that others, seeing these their good works, may be more effectually excited to glorify God.
3. By acts of beneficence we discover the power which religion has over us, and the sincerity of our love to God. This is the most sensible argument that we can give to ourselves or others, that our hearts are right with God, and that religion has in truth some power over us. But in truth, though acts of charity may in many respects interfere with the maxims of self-love, and seem to cross the designs of avarice and worldly-mindedness; yet it will appear under my next and last particular.
4. That they are agreeable to one of the prime and essential inclinations of human nature. God has implanted in our very frame a compassionate sense of the sufferings of other people, which disposes us to contribute to their relief; so that when we see any of our fellow creatures in circumstances of distress we are naturally, I had almost said, mechanically, inclined to be helpful to them. One reason why God has given us these natural sentiments of compassion may be that man, of all other beings upon earth, stands in the greatest need of the help of his fellow creatures; for whereas Nature, when she brings other creatures in the world, puts them in a readier way of making some provision for themselves. Man is born more exposed, and even in his full strength he would at the best but pass his time very ill were it not for the many comforts and conveniences which he reaps from society. As God has made man a sociable creature, it was a very wise design of His providence to train him up in such a manner for society as might give him the strongest impressions of all the duties of humanity and respect, which he owes to it, anal wherein the peace and happiness of it principally consist.
(R. Fiddes, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
WEB: But don't forget to be doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.