The Israelites were repeatedly reminded of the importance of giving their firstfruits to the Lord. What are the firstfruits? The Israelites were to give the first and best of the harvest. They were to give of the new wine, grain, oil, honey, and all that the fields produced. In 2 Chronicles 31:4-6 the people gave exactly that. They also gave, “a great amount, a tithe of everything. The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps.”
In the church we give on the first day of the week. But we also give everyday. We give of ourselves, our time and our money to all sorts of causes. We give to others, to ourselves, to God, etc. It is sometimes easier to write a check to someone or something than to actually give of our time.
What if we gave the very best hour of our day to God and others?
What is the very best, most productive, and alert hour of your day? What if you were to give that hour each day to God and others? We often give God the sleepy hour just before we fall asleep or the hour in the morning when we aren’t very alert to reading the Bible and prayer. Many times we are tempted to give some of our most alert hours to ourselves. What if we applied the firstfruits and tithing concepts to our time? What would that look like? What would it look like for you if you gave the best and most productive part of your day to God? What do you think that would result in?
One link is happy.
One link is sad. I think they call this extortion but I am not certain of all the details.
Yes, both the church and the giver would benefit if belieers gave theri best adn the firstfruits to God. However those two ar far from the same thing inGod’s word.
Tithing Was Not a Minimum Required from All Old Covenant Israelites
Only those Israelites who earned a livelihood from farming and herding inside Israel were required to tithe under the Mosaic Law. Their increase came from God’s hand. Those whose increase came from their own crafts and skills were not required to tithe products and money. The poor and needy who did not tithe and received from the tithe gave freewill offerings.
Tithes Were Not the Same as First-fruits
The first-fruit was a very small amount of the first crop harvest and the first-born was the first offspring of animals. The first-fruit was small enough to fit into a hand-held basket (Deut. 26:1-4, 10; Lev. 23:17; Num. 18:13-17; 2 Chron 31:5a). First-fruit and first-born offerings went directly to the Temple and were required to be totally consumed by ministering priests only inside the Temple (Neh. 10:35-37a; Ex. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 18:4).
Tithes Were Not from Money
One argument to support non-food tithing is that money was not universally available and barter from food must have been used for most transactions. This argument is not biblical. Genesis alone contains “money” in 32 texts and the word occurs 44 times before the tithe is first mentioned in Leviticus 27. The word shekel also appears often from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
In fact many centuries before Israel entered Canaan and began tithing food from God’s Holy Land money was an essential everyday item. For example money in the form of silver shekels paid for slaves (Gen 17:12+); land (Gen 23:9+); freedom (Ex 23:11); court fines (Ex 21 all; 22 all); sanctuary dues (Ex 30:12+); vows (Lev 27:3-7); poll taxes (Num 3:47+), alcoholic drinks (Deu 14:26) and marriage dowries (Deu 22:29).
According to Genesis 47:15-17 food was only used for barter after money had been spent. Banking and usury laws exist in God’s Word in Leviticus even before tithing. Therefore the argument that money was not prevalent enough for everyday use is false. Yet the tithe contents never include money from non-food products and trades.
I appreciate your lengthy comment and believe you say some things that are on target. I looked into some of what you mentioned in your comment prior to posting this and considered putting more background but decided to stop short after concluding what you started your comment with – “Yes, both the church and the giver would benefit if believers gave their best and the firstfruits to God.”
Hopefully I didn’t proof-text anything to do so or mislead anyone about what the texts say or combining things that weren’t combined. I think both principles are there and committed Christians shouldn’t hesitate to live it out. Many times we look at giving for the bottom line, “what does God require.” We can find an answer to that but the proper attitude is not what can I give to be just enough. We see how much God gave and want to give our everything back to him.