Sunday, May 9, 2010

Twenty Three and One Third Percent, No Way

In this next discussion concerning tithing vs giving we will discover that not only was the tithe under the Law crops and consumable animals but it was not limited to only ten percent, hummmm.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27 tells us that a second tithe was required by Israel that was a ceremonial or festival tithe and differs from the tithe given to the LORD for the Levites. This particular tithe was also a tenth of the crops, but now it was required to give the firstborn of the herds and flocks. This tithe also shows us that they had markets and income since verses 24-26 says to exchange (sell) the items for money, and then use the money to buy the food and drink for the festival.

Next, Deuteronomy 14:28-29 reveals a third tithe which was called the poor tithe, or the third-year tithe. Every third year the people were commanded to keep a third tithe that was stored at a local storehouse so those who were in need could partake of it. Once again we see that tithing is not about money nor is it a standard or obligation for the church. When you add the percents together, we find out that Israel was required to give two tithes during each year which equals twenty percent and a third tithe every third year. If we break this down into tithing each year we see that Israel was to give twenty three and one third percent each year (using three and one third percent each year for the poor tithe, which equals ten percent in three years). Even under the Law through obligation the people gave more than ten percent. How much more should the church give being under grace and exercising faith.

The question comes down to, have I given my all to Him or have I excluded my finances? What is meant by this is, do I give cheerfully and bountifully because my faith bears witness that "The earth is the LORD'S and all its fullness, the world and all who dwell therein" or do I hold back and give because as a Christian I am are called to give. Do I give not expecting a return or do I give and demand that God make good on His word and give me, give me, give me?

Today is the day for all believers, especially in the USA, to stop striving for more material things (not that they are evil, but the motivation that drives believers to wanting more is) and seek the things that do not perish...

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