Memory Verse: And this stone which I have set as a pillarshall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You. – Genesis 28:22 (NKJV).
Tithe is defined as the tenth of one’s income or profit. Its practice by Christians is rooted in the Old Testament. Historians, however, believe that the practice of paying tithes as tribute to rulers existed in Babylon in ancient times as well as in Persia, Egypt and China, and that Abraham knew of the practice before God called him to leave Haran. Also, there are biblical accounts showing that tithing was indeed practiced long before the time of Moses and the institution of the Jewish Law. The two pre-mosaic accounts which show how Abraham and Jacob handled tithing occur in Genesis 14:17-20 and 28:20-22 respectively. During the time of Moses, tithing was structured for informed compliance. In this study, we shall look at tithing as instituted under the Law.
Questions for Discussion
What sort of inheritance did God provide for the children of Levi? Verse 20.
Why did God give the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel? Verse 21.
What did God direct the children of Israel to do to support the Levites? Verse 24.
How were the Levites to treat the tithes they received? Verse 26.
Why do you think that tithing is still a relevant practice for Christians?
Conclusion At the time the Law was given, the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land. There they would be predominantly farmers, shepherds and herdsmen. These were the key occupations that they devoted their energies to and by which they paid their tithes. Then, they interpreted the law on tithing within the framework of their professions. Now, we will do well to do the same having regard to the multiplicity of avenues by which we earn incomes and receive additional inflows (both financial and material). Oh that we will espouse all diligence and faithfulness in tithing that each one of us can at all times say to the LORD with all boldness, I have removed from my housethe sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow (Deut. 26:13)