Read Deuteronomy 14
Clean and unclean food; the Laws of the tithe; the year of release; three feasts that must be observed.
Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year (Deut. 14: 22). The principle of tithing was established many centuries before the Law through Abraham, known as the father of the faithful. Abraham acknowledged his gratitude to God, the Provider of all his possessions, by presenting his tithes to Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God (Heb. 7:1-9).
Although the Law commanded Israel to present their tithes to God, no legal penalty was imposed upon those who were disobedient. This permitted the offering to be an expression of love. The giving of the tithe was a test of integrity. Furthermore, it was an act of acknowledging one's obligation to God as the true Possessor of all things.
The Israelites were warned that failure to tithe meant they were robbing God, and they would experience many trials, including crop failures, insects, and plagues (Mal. 3:11).
By bringing their corn . . . wine . . . oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks they would learn to fear the Lord thy God always (Deut. 14:23). Tithing would teach the Israelites to esteem God for who He is as well as acknowledge their responsibility to bring their tithes first — before any other consideration. God should occupy first place in their lives because all they possessed was the result of His loving provision. It would be an insult merely to bring something left over.
Israel was not only taught to bring the tithe before the Lord as a moral obligation, but they were to experience a heartfelt appreciation for the privilege; and all were to rejoice (14:26). Under the new Covenant with Christ, the principle of love should dictate even greater giving than was required under the old Law. Our gifts to the Lord are a means of expressing our love for His Word, as well as avoiding the danger of covetousness (Matt. 6:21), which is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for every Christian to have a part in the ministry of the Word of God.
The Lord repeats the principle of giving in our New Testament: He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:6-7).
Thought for Today:
The person who lives only for his selfish gain and pleasure discovers that life becomes less satisfying with every passing year.
Through the year of release, which typifies Christ's forgiveness of our sins (Deut. 15:1). This should cause us to realize how important it is to forgive others, even as He has forgiven us (Matt. 6:14-15). Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).
14:1 cut, disfigure; make any baldness, shave; 14:2 holy . . . peculiar people, treasured possession, dedicated; 14:7 cloven, split; 14:8 swine, pig; 14:23 fear, give reverential, heartfelt submission to and respect for; 14:25 turn, exchange; 14:26 Whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, Whatever you desire; 15:1 release, forgiveness of debts; 15:4 Save, Except; 15:5 hearken, listen and obey; 15:9 be evil, be selfish, inconsiderate, hateful, hostile, hold grudge; 15:10 not be grieved, have no regrets; 15:11 open thine hand wide, give freely; 15:14 floor, threshing floor; 15:15 bondman, slave; 16:3 leavened bread, bread that contains yeast; affliction, humiliation, distress; 16:13 corn, grain; 16:19 gift, bribe; 16:20 That which is altogether just, What is right.
Pray for International Radio Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Staff: Chris Robison • Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia • Major languages: Tajik and Russian • Almost entirely Muslim • 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Put on God's whole armor so that you may be able to successfully stand up against Satan's evil attacks (Eph. 6:11).
Optional Reading: Luke 21
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:13