Thursday, April 29, 2010

Give me my Portion

Joshua, the servant of Moses lead Israel in the conquest of Canaan. The LORD gave Joshua the details of dividing up the land among the tribes as their inheritance. However, in Joshua 13:14 we read that the tribe of Levi did not receive any land as their inheritance like the other tribes, but why was that?

We find out in Numbers 18:21 that Levi's inheritance was all the tithes of Israel in return for the work they performed at the tabernacle of meeting. Further investigation, Numbers 18:22-28 reveals that the tithe of Israel was actually given to the LORD who in turn gave to the Levites and then the Levites would tithe the tithe to Aaron the preist. So what was the tithe?

LEVITICUS 27:30-32 shows us what the tithe really was. The tithe was agricultural produce, crops and animals for food and not money. This is important to understand if believers are to be free from the laws the church leaders have placed upon them concerning tithing as a standard and or obligation in the church. We also see that the tithe was a tenth of the crops, as well as every tenth animal that passed under the shepherd's rod, not the first. Contrary to popular teaching in the church, there is no scripture where God had ever command tithing to be on the first ten percent. Next we notice something else the is very interesting. There was a penalty for someone who wanted to exchange their tithe for money which indicates that it was no longer a tithe because it was now 12%. God was discouraging tithing money by adding a penalty if it was exchanged for money.

The crops and animals were miracles of God, not from the labor of man. God was not commanding pay back of a tenth of what man created or earned. It had nothing to do with man’s labors but God’s provision. Israel was to trust the LORD and He would provide. It is the same for believers today. Although we may labor in our places of employment, faith says it has nothing to do with my labors, it is God who is providing. When believers think this way, then giving bountifully and cheerfully is a freedom because it is of grace not obligation, that is, Law.

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