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.