Daily Word

Deuteronomy 14 part 2

Re-read Deuteronomy 14:22-29 – The LORD addresses tithing.  There was an economy back then that was more practical than mere money.  People grew crops, harvesting grain, wine, and olive oil.  People raised flocks and herds, for food, farm labor, and trade.  The Lord instructed them to set aside one-tenth of all of it as tithe.  They were to bring it to the designated place of worship, :23.  Now, notice the grace in verse :24-27, if the designated place of worship was too far, they were permitted to sell the tithe portion, carrying the money to the designated place of worship.  Upon arrival they were to use that money to buy any kind of food and wine they desired and then feast in the LORD’s presence, celebrating with their household and the Levite (the priest).  

Do you see God’s heart in this – the LORD wants them to rejoice with him as their tithe!  The tithe is not burdensome, it is a celebration and always meant to draw the LORD’s people closer to him in gratitude, reverence and honor.

The three year tithe (:29) was extended to the Levite as well as sojourner, the orphan and the widow. The LORD was prepared for social welfare long before the government got involved.  Doing these things for the LORD puts a sense of reverence and honor to the task that our modern day taxes have never given me… and the LORD has a blessing attached, “Then the LORD your God will bless you in all your work.” :29

Are you seeing the win of obedience on this?  Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels at work?  Wouldn’t it be more excellent to join the LORD as he leads you?

The LORD loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9).  If this is a foreign concept to you, I encourage you to pray over the matter.  Giving is such a joy; do not deprive yourself of this close connection to Jesus.  It is a thrill to think of what he can and will do with our mustard seed sized tithe!  I can only speak for myself and share that this was a slow lesson for me in the beginning, but now it is my favorite part of payday.  It is an amazing privilege that the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY lets little old me, and you, take part in the good work he is doing on earth.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 14

Read Deuteronomy 14 – I read this chapter and thought, what on earth am I going to say?  All these do’s and don’ts, I wondered what portions were strictly for the Jews entering the Promised Land and what portions we “have to comply” with.  I was in the wrong state of mind.  So I set it down, prayed for God to show me His love in these verses, and read it again…. and He knocked my socks off with His LOVE!

“You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” :2  This is Israelite specific, but we have a similar truth in Christ, “…for you are a chosen people.  You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.  As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9  

Beloved, all the do’s and don’ts are there to save these ancient people and us from mediocrity!  God has called us into a far more than we can ask or imagine, so we are to always strive to live up to his calling.  And when we fall short (and we assuredly will), we can know that Jesus’s love for us does not change.  He is our Great High Priest, we can confess to Jesus and he has us covered!

There are a lot of food restrictions and if you look closely, you’ll find that these were health related as well as for obedience… don’t eat things that eat other things.  Don’t eat roadkill.  I’m paraphrasing.  I had to look deeper at :21, “You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”  This was a pagan fertility ritual at the time, but also, it is the reason you would be hard pressed to get a cheeseburger in Israel today – as the milk from the cheese may have come from the mother of the calf that became the burger.  (David Guszik commentary).  Also, rest assured you are not offending the Lord by eating cheeseburgers, bacon, lobster, or anything on the don’t list,  as these restrictions were laid to rest when God gave Peter the dream in Acts 10.  (extra credit opportunity!)  

We will pick up the rest of this wonderful chapter tomorrow.