March 6, 2006
Read Deuteronomy 14
Clean and unclean food; the Law of the tithe; dedication of the firstborn; three feasts to be observed; judges and justice
The prosperity of
Tithing reminded the Israelites that they, as well as the land, belonged to the Lord. Since all they possessed was the result of His loving provision, before all other considerations, their tithes to the Lord were to be given first. Furthermore, no Israelite could come before the Lord without an offering commensurate with his income. To merely bring leftovers or a small pittance of one's income would be an expression of disobedience and ingratitude.
The command was clear: They shall not appear before the LORD empty (empty-handed): Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee (16:16-17; compare I Corinthians 16:2).
The Israelites were not only taught to bring their tithes to the Lord as a spiritual and moral obligation, but they were to "rejoice" with a heartfelt appreciation for the privilege of honoring God with their tithes and offerings. The giving of tithes and offerings carried the promise that the LORD thy God may bless thee (Deuteronomy 14:29).
Five hundred years before the Law was given to Moses, Abraham, father of the faithful (Romans 4:11), paid a tenth (tithe) to Melchizedek . . . priest of the Most High God as an acceptable offering to the Lord (Genesis 14:18-20. Both tithing (Luke 18:12) and the giving of offerings (21:4; Acts 24:17) were still being practiced by
14:1 make any baldness = shave heads as the pagans to; 14:2 a peculiar people unto Himself = dedicated people not conformed to worldly standards but living to please God; 14:21 seethe = boil; 16:19 wrest judgment = pervert justice.
Through the year of release, which typifies Christ's forgiveness of our sins (Deuteronomy 15:1). This should teach us to forgive others, even as He has forgiven us (Matthew 6:14-15). Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Louise Wood, Mrs. Ann W. Reed; and, in memory of James Caruth · Staff: Beth Carlton · Government Official: Sen. Christopher Bond (MO) · Country: Lithuania (4 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Lithuanian and Russian · Limited religious freedom · 80% Roman Catholic; 5% Russian Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Amidst uncertainty, seek the guidance of God (Isaiah 42:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 5:29