accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules. [psalm 119:108]
the term “freewill offering” and its variants only appear a few times in the bible, mostly in the law, only twice in the psalms, not at all in the new testament and only once in this form–”freewill offerings of praise”. typically, a freewill offering was a type of offering that was offered to God out of thankfulness, a physical offering of meat or grain from a harvest or abundance that went above and beyond the required tithe. freewill offerings were made in thankfulness to and reliance upon God–that he would be faithful to provide. what then is a freewill offering of praise?
like the priests and pharisees of old, we often offer praises to God out of duty–we are told to worship him, glorify him, obey him, but God seeks true worship: as Jesus told the woman at the well:
“but the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” [john 4:23]
how do we become “such people”–what stokes our worship? what causes us to abandon ourselves and throw ourselves into free, unfettered worship of spirit and truth?
when we know him! when we see the face of Christ! to know Christ is to worship him!
know yourself called out of darkness into the light–know yourself as his!–then we will praise him, proclaiming Christ!
but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light [1 peter 2:9]
oh, Jesus! let us see you so that might overflow with freewill offerings of praise!
~ conor eastman