Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20021030.htm
DEUTERONOMY: GETTING OTHERS TO BE VICTORS, NOT CASUALTIES
Part XIV: Discipling Others On Giving To The Lord
(Deuteronomy 14:22-29 with New Testament passages)
Lesson: As giving unto the Lord should REFLECT our RECOGNITION that all we POSSESS comes from God's hand, we need to honor GOD and OTHERS with our POSSESSIONS in keeping with how God wants us to invest our priorities in HIM and OTHERS above what we POSSESS!
- Giving to the Lord and His work today is not a simple thing: many Christian organizations seem to be asking for more financial support, and those who give may wonder if they should tithe 10 per cent of their gross, or give "until it hurts" to meet these needs.
- Though the Old Testament laws on giving differ from Church era guidelines, the intent behind giving in both eras is the same. We view Scripture on the subject to see God's will for giving today:
- Discipling Others On Giving To The Lord, Deuteronomy 14:22-29 with New Testament passages.
- When Moses addressed Israel before his death, he mentioned the nation's need to "tithe," Deut. 14:22.
- In viewing this command with the other requirements of the Law, we notice God's PURPOSE in giving:
- God required the people of Israel to give 10 % of their annual produce to the Lord for the sustenance of the Levites who had no land inheritance, Lev. 27:30; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Deut. 14:22-27.
- Jewish interpreters then saw the command for the tithe in Deuteronomy 14:22-27 to include a second tithe of 10 % of Israel's annual produce, Ibid. This second tithe was also brought to the tabernacle.
- Then, this second tithe was to be used in a fellowship feast unto the Lord for the purpose of worship:
- Part of this second tithe was to be used for feasting before the Lord at the tabernacle site so as to foster continual respect for the Lord among the various generations, Deuteronomy 14:23.
- If the giver lived a great distance from the tabernacle, making the transport of his tithe produce a hardship, he could exchange the produce for its value in money, and travel to the tabernacle and there use it to buy whatever produce he desired so he could feast in honor of God, Deut. 14:24-26.
- Also, since the Levites had no land inheritance with the other tribes, these other tribes were to share their feasting tithe with them so they could honor the Lord in this feast, Deuteronomy 14:27.
- Then, every third year, this second tithe was not to be taken to the tabernacle and used for feasting by these regular tribes, but was to be used entirely for the needy among them: it was for the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and widow so they could feast and honor the Lord, Deut. 14:28-29.
- Hence, tithing was to be an act of WORSHIP where the giver recognized everything he owned came from God's hand, and he needed to thank and honor God with it, and liberally share God's blessing with those who ministered the Word in the Levites, and with the needy around him!
- In the Church era, though the specifics on giving differ, the spirit remains the same as follows:
- The set amount of a 10% tithe no longer APPLIES to the Church era, for Christians are to give the amount they themselves set free of any inner or external false guilt pressures to do so, 2 Cor. 9:7.
- However, the spirit of thanksgiving to God and of liberality with the needy and those who minister the Word unto us (as did the Levites for Israel under the Law) remain the same as follows:
- The believer should pay his taxes to the government as a law abiding citizen, Romans 13:1-7. This requirement may be likened to the first tithe Israel paid under its theocratic form of government.
- Regarding Israel's second tithe, we find differences in function but similarities in spirit to the present Church era: (a) God loves a cheerful giver in any era, so He expects the Christian to donate an amount he himself sets in the spirit of joy and thanksgiving to God for His bounty, 2 Cor. 9:6-7. (b) The giver should financially support those who minister God's Word unto them: this has been ordained of God in the Church era, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:7-11. (c) He should give first to needy believers and then to the poor in his community in that order, Galatians 2:9-10 with Galatians 6:10.
- Thus, God promises a remuneration in accord with the giver's liberality and attitude, 2 Cor. 9:6-10.
Application: HOW we give is to TRANSCEND its SPECIFICS to reflect our ATTITUDE toward GOD, OTHERS and our POSSESSIONS. May we keep them in the proper priority for blessing in giving!