- Deuteronomy 14:22 (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 14:23 (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 14:24 (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 14:25 (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 14:26 (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 14:27 (NIV)
Here is a clear instruction from the Old Testament on the tithe. Today, we often think of tithes as ten percent of our income, debating about whether the ten percent should be based on our gross or net income, and wondering if the tithe still applies today. The concept of a tithe is not really repeated in the New Testament, which makes it even more difficult of an issue to figure out.
We think of a tithe as something that we are giving directly to God. In a normal church, the "offering" goes towards the expenses of the church. But this passage clearly indicates that this tithe ends up in the stomachs of the ones offering it. The only condition is that a tenth is set aside and taken to the place where God's Name dwells. There it is offered to God, but then consumed by the ones offering it.
The purpose of this then, is not to give God something. He doesn't need a tithe from us. If anything, the tithe is for us to experience and to learn to revere the Lord. When we set something aside from our wealth or earnings, it turns money and possessions into thinking of them as blessings from God. When we offer up a "tithe," our attitude may be a bittersweet parting inside, but in this passage, God wants us to rejoice.
The tithe is an opportunity to remember that God gives us everything and gives us a moment to joyfully share that moment with Him.
We can't eat our tithes today because we don't eat money. And perhaps there is no tithe left for Christians, but only a joyful giving, but the attitude can remain the same.
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