Today’s Passages – Leviticus 26 – 27
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.” – (Leviticus 27:30)
I really do not understand why the subject of giving back to God is such a difficult one for many people. Everything we own ultimately belongs to God anyway. We are merely custodians, or stewards, of His possessions. The principle of tithing has been around for a long time, well before the Law was established. You will remember that Abraham gave tithes to Melchisedec, and Jacob promised God that he would give Him the tenth all that God blessed him with. Jesus even commented that the Pharisees were right when they gave their tithes on mint and anise, and cummin. I do not believe, however, that the New Testament Christian is under any law to give ten percent of his or her income to the church. We do live in the age of grace, and all such laws have been nailed to the cross. Having said that, though, when I teach new believers regarding principles of stewardship, I will tell them that the tithe is a good place to begin in giving. They often look at me as if I am crazy, and I guess if you were to judge me by the world’s standards, I am. But, think about it. What better way is there for a young believer to declare that they acknowledge God’s ownership of their money and possessions; and there is also no better way for them to demonstrate their dependence upon the blessing of God. To many new Christians, this is a tremendous leap of faith, and unfortunately, some will never take it.
I remember when I first trusted Christ. My wife and I were only married a few years, and as is typical with many young, married couples, my financial situation was a mess. Wouldn’t you know it, the first church service that I attended as a new believer, the pastor preached on tithing. I was sure that all that these people wanted was my money. Slowly, however, God began to impress upon my heart that I needed to trust Him and to put Him first in my life, and if I was going to do that, it would mean that I would have to trust Him with my money. We started tithing, fearfully at first, but God has always kept His end of the deal. He has been faithful to take good care of me and my family. There has always been food on the table, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head; and their have even been many wonderful “desires” thrown in along the way. God is good.
Recently, my son and his wife purchased a beautiful home in a nice part of our community. He paid less than half of what his neighbor paid for a similar house ten years ago. We have other young couples in our church who are about to purchase homes, and I know that they will be similarly blessed. Why? Because they have learned to put God first. They have recognized that God can be trusted to take care of them. All of these couples that I am thinking about right now give far above the tithe by the way. Like the Macedonian Christians of Paul’s day, “they gave their own selves to the Lord”. And God is blessing them abundantly.
Friend, you can trust God. Keep first things first in your life; and the first thing needs to be God.
Posted in Thoughts from Leviticus by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.