“And blessed be God Mos High, who delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’ But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread of the thong of a sandal,’ so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—-to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” (Genesis14:20-24)
Blessing is God’s constant provision of daily needs through His invisible presence in our lies. Prayer for blessing is a recognition of God as the provider of food, health, work, and all other available resources. Worship involves asking God for blessing, acknowledging His blessing, and blessing Him or praising Him for being the Source of blessing.
Tithing began well before the Old Testament tithe law was established. It was common among many religions. Abraham gave the first tithe recorded in Scripture as a wonderful act of gratitude to God for help in battle.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, as we read these scriptures from Genesis, it began with Abram receiving a blessing for their engaging the enemy to regain his kinsmen Lot and all of the goods seized by the four kings that had been given to Lot for safekeeping was also returned. Abram refused to accept any of the goods, but instead gave a tithe to God, for their success in battle, fully recognizing that God was and still is the source of all blessing. This we pray, in Jesus’ name pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The Ten Commandments are not optional.”
“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver,, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
I have heard people say, this is harsh and costly for the landowners, but in reality, God was teaching the people to share what they have with all others in their towns, especially those who are homeless, widowed and the Levites who received no other allotment. Tithing provided the worshiper a means of spiritual celebration, supporting the priests, and caring for the needy. God required His people to tithe of their gran and animal products. Then the distance was great to the designated place for giving the tithe, they were to convert their tithe into silver in exchange for their gifts and take that instead God’s people in all ages and in all kinds of economic circumstances are still responsible for worshipful giving of their resources to serve God’s will and purposes of justice and righteousness.
“Go’ to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened breaded as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings—boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,’ declares the Sovereign Lord. ‘I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me,’ declares the Lord.” (Amos4:4-6)
Beloved, a person cannot earn nor buy the good pleasure of God. Regular observance of the ceremonial acts of giving required by Levitical law did not please God when the giver was rebellious and sinful.
I remember as a young boy, that we always left the ends of each row untouched at harvest time. People in need would be free, to go and harvest what was left behind for themselves. God delights in the gift of the righteous who give out of reverence and love. Even my aunt’s garden produced an abundance and we would can all of the harvest. She taught school in town and would regularly have me put canned vegetables from the garden into her trunk and back seat, which she gave away to children at school and also those that were struggling to find enough to eat. Those memories have stayed with me and always made us feel God’s blessings for being obedient to His purposes.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of he law—-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You stain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew23:23–24)
In this discussion tithing is given as an example of he Pharisees hypocrisy. The Old Testament law of he tithe required that they give ten percent of agricultural produce. They had gone to an exaggerated point on this to prove their righteousness while missing the real meaning of righteousness—-mercy and justice. Giving of my time, money and skills has always given me memories of joyful times serving our fellow believers and our Lord. To me, this is the least that we should do, but that’s for another day to explore.
Many believer that here, Jesus established the tithe as the plan for Christian tithing. He commended the Pharisees’ devotion to the law of tithing, but He did not say how this was to apply to His followers. Jesus did say much about giving during His ministry. I remember a story of a family driving home from church and the father was complaining about having to give money to the church, but his daughter said, “Dad, you drank two cups of coffee and ate two donuts, and only put a dollar in the offering plate.” Beloved, to worship is an honor and a blessing, and we are to give with joy in our hearts. I don’t know the father’s reply, but I’m guessing if involved in him eating his words!