|On-Line Bible Lessons|
Here is the law of the tithe given again. We covered the tithe back in chp. 14, lesson 1. We will point out a few more things concerning the tithe here. Moses starts with the requirement of the first fruits. This law is given in Ex. 23:19 and Num. 18:13. Let's look at the law as given in Num. 18:13.
1. What does God require to be given to Him in Num. 18:12, 13? ___________________________
a. Actually, who ends up in possession of this which is given, v. 8?__________________
This would refer back to Deut. 17, lesson 1. Anything but the best is an abomination to the Lord our God.
2. What were His people to do, Deut. 26:1-10? There are at least eight things here which were required.
1) __________________________________________ 5) ____________________________________
2) __________________________________________ 6) ____________________________________
3) __________________________________________ 7) ____________________________________
4) __________________________________________ 8) ____________________________________
a. Why were they to go through this formal ceremony, Deut. 26:3, 5-10? ___________________
Let us mention here with this passage. If we do not have this attitude from our heart then there is something quite wrong with our religion. This should be the attitude of every child of God.
3. How many times a year were they required to do this, Ex. 23:19? _______________________
4. Why were they required to do this? What were they reminded
of as they obeyed God's instruc&SHY;tions here?
a. A passage which goes with this would be II Pet. 1:1-9. What is one of the reasons God's people fail to serve Him faithfully, v. 9c? ______________________________________________________
5. This law concerning the offering of the first fruits is referred to several times in the NT. What did this law foreshadow, Rom. 8:23? __________________________________________________
a. What did this law foreshadow, I Cor. 15:20? ___________________________________________
There are many other NT passages concerning the first fruits, Rom. 11:16; 16:5; I Cor. 16:15; Ja. 1:18; Rev. 14:4. This offering of the first fruits to God is a reference to the first-born being given to Him. Notice the reference to their deliverance from Egypt in Deut. 26. In this deliverance, the first born (the believers) were delivered by the blood of the passover lamb. This offering speaks of the redemption of the first-born from the death which took the Egyptians first-born, as well as the completed redemption when one day we are totally redeemed from this world to be with Him forevermore.
Needless to say, the early church saw Christ as the fulfillment of this offering of the first- born. This offering of the first fruits was continued on for many years after Christ. The idea behind this tithe is redemption. This tithe was mandatory by God, yet it should be voluntary by man. Men should be thankful enough for their redemption to willingly give the best to Him.
6. Let us point out another thing about this offering. What
is required in Deut 26: 11?
a. What is required in Phil. 4:4? ________________________________________________
It is of note here that this is added at the end of this law of giving. In fact, He closes this law with this requirement. Let us point out that the natural man rejoices in "something for nothing". People desire a rejoicing (even in salvation) in something which costs them very little, if anything at all. People want the benefits of salvation without the costs. As we pointed out back in chp. 14, this is the MAJOR reason for high taxes today. God's people will not glorify Him as God over their finances, therefore, the "church" cannot fulfill its obligation to society for the lack of funds.
7. Deut. 26:12 makes it very clear. On of the main purposes
of the tithe was what?
Far too much of Christianity today has deteriorated to Ja. 2:16, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; but don't ask me to give "my" money to help warm and fill you." This sends them down the street to the government programs, and the government will force that tithe from us, only now it is not a tithe, but 40-60% of our income (Chalcedon Report, P.O. Box 158, Vallecito, Ca., 95251, #227, pgs. 14, 15). The church cannot fulfill its heavenly calling without finances. The law of God provides those finances which, if added up, will amount to about 18% of our income.
Let us make another point here. How can we stand against legalized gambling, such as a state lottery, with this attitude? The desire which drives the legalized gambling into public accept&SHY;ance is "something for nothing." Christians expect (and yes, even demand) something for nothing. They desire a religion which will "save their soul", yet costs them nothing in sacrifice of time, energy or money. The desire which brings about gambling and the desire which brings about a costless religion, in both cases is something for nothing.
"Big Brother" takes over these many areas of social programs because the church is unable to do so for want of finances. Then we stand back and criticize "big brother" for doing them and forcing the money from us which we refused to give to the Lord so it could be done in the Lord's Name.
8. As His people did vv. 1-12, what were they to say before the Lord? It is summed up in the last part of v. 13 and 14b. ________________________________________________________________
9. What could they expect God to do, v. 15? __________________________________________
9\10. As they continued on in doing according to all that He had commanded them, what did God promise to do, v. 19 (I Cor. 3:17; I Thess. 5:27; I Pet. 2:9)? _____________________________
Many of the laws are just a verse or two of application, yet this one part of the one law of the tithe takes up 19 verses. This is an indication of the importance of this area of our lives, the area of finances. This area, many times, is the hardest and last to submit to God, and many, times the first one a person takes back when they get away from God. Yet, God has a way of taking what is owed to Him. We heard of a pastor in Md. who went to see one of his men in the hospital. Upon greeting the man the pastor said, "I see you are getting your tithe cut out."
A person may say, "I don't tithe, yet everything is going okay." What kind of taxes are they paying? Only as God's people quit stealing from God is there any hope at all of seeing the civil tax reduced, and the Kingdom of God advanced in control of these areas of society, Mal., chp. 3, Matt., chp. 6. Only as what belongs to God is given unto Him can we expect God to withdraw op&SHY;pressive civil government.