The Necessity of Giving – The Tithe

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A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. – Leviticus 27:30

This verse appears in a section of Leviticus dealing with the rules regarding making promises to God. An Israelite would promise a servant, an animal, a house or some land to God as an expression of gratitude and thankfulness to Him. Hannah, for example, dedicated her son, the prophet Samuel, out of gratefulness to God for answering her prayers. Once a person devoted something to God, it became the Lord’s possession. The Hebrew wording speaks to the ‘irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord’. It was His and He could do with it as He pleased. Furthermore, the Lord declared it holy – sanctified, set apart for special use, consecrated for service.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, …You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we are now the Lord’s possession. All that we are and all that we have are irrevocably His.

In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter writes, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Like the dedicated things of Leviticus, we not only belong to the Lord, but we are also holy, set apart and consecrated for His use. We are His and all that we have is His. As we give ourselves and give of what we have to this reality, we declare the praise of the One who has called us His own.

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