Tag Archives: Tithing

A Biblical Understanding of Tithing (Part 3: Application)

In my first and second posts, I outlined the biblical instructions on tithing and giving.  Now that we have a solid scriptural foundation upon which to build, let’s think about what this means for Christians and the church today.  There are no easy answers. Even if we understand the biblical concepts, the application of these principles requires guidance by the Holy Spirit and discernment in each unique situation.

Let’s Give Generously in Freedom

The Bible is clear on the what Christian giving in general should look like. We are to give as we have purposed in our heart, not according to some external command.  There are no specific mandates on percentages or amounts. Even though the tithe is often used as a basis for saying congregants should give ten percent to the church, that is misapplying a Mosaic Law system in a completely unrelated context. Both the believer that feels compelled to donate ten percent and the believer that gives a different amount are free to do so.  We have freedom to give as we feel led by the Spirit. That freedom, however, should not be an excuse to be uncharitable with our finances.  Rather, true Spirit-led giving is both generous and wise.

Let’s Drop the Term “Tithing”

There is certainly continuity between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The sacrificial system, appointed times of the Lord, and so forth all are shadows the lead us to the bright reality in Jesus Christ. So we need to have a biblical understanding that brings from both the old and new.

That said, using the term “tithing” when talking about donations to the church just causes confusion. Pastors begin to misuse verses (see Malachi 3:8) in an effort to increase giving. Different scriptures are thrown together willy-nilly without any consideration to a holistic, accurate understanding of the scripture. Tithing was clearly a mandated system with specific application to the nation of Israel. Only those under the Mosaic Law were bound by its requirements. For Christians, we are not under the Mosaic Law, and consequently can only apply the general concepts as we walk by the Spirit.  Any more than that, and we are missing the big picture. As Jesus said to the Pharisees and scribes, “you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23)

Let’s Redistribute Church Offerings Back to Members in Need

The early church in Acts left a undeniable example for us. Collections were taken up by the apostles, only to be redistributed back to those in the church who needed help. This would have included widows who did not have family members to support them. If a need was found, the money collected was there to provide for it.

When we look at any given church budget, does a significant portion go towards helping its members who are struggling financially? As long a church owns a building and has some level of staff, there will be overhead costs that cannot be avoided. But does a significant portion of the additional surplus go into a fund that is then used to support the needy? Or are funds being used primarily for new buildings, more (unnecessary) staff, better equipment, and so forth.  We need to take a good look at where money is being spent and discern if it honors God and is in accordance with scripture.

Of course, if money is being redistributed to church members in need, there is a practical discernment that needs to be applied by elders and deacons to ensure people aren’t taking advantage of the system. Those who can work should work (1 Timothy 5:8) to ensure that those who are the most vulnerable are cared for.

Implications for Salaried Church Staff

This is a complicated subject, so I’ll just share some high-level thoughts.

When we look at Paul’s example, he made an effort to not financially burden those he was ministering to. However, when we look across the large majority of churches in America, how many pastors have a part-time job, let alone a full-time position outside the ministry? They are out there, but it’s not the norm.

Instead, what we see are churches with significant staffing costs. Not only is there a lead teaching pastor, there may be a worship pastor, operations pastor, youth pastor, children’s pastor, men’s pastor, women’s pastor, and the list goes on. This doesn’t count everyone who works behind the scenes. These large churches have become corporate behemoths, burning through cash quickly. The entire modern church model needs a revamp, but that’s for a different discussion.

This is the exact opposite of the early church we see in scripture. Church leaders were normal guys with normal jobs. Seminaries did not exist at this point, so their qualification rested on their spiritual maturity. Traveling evangelists were typically supported by churches or patrons, but this was a practical accommodation because of their constant travel.

It’s safe to say we as the American church have a lot to learn from Paul. In too many instances, ministries have become a financial burden on the people, greatly hindering the gospel.  A church model where the leaders have normal jobs in addition to their ministry positions would create a financially-resilient church with the cash-flow to provide for those who need it the most.

The Fulfillment of Tithing is Love

In everything we do, we are to walk in love and by the Holy Spirit.  That is the key.

The tithing commandments and all the New Testament instructions on giving find their fulfillment in godly love.  It’s not about rules and regulations, but about meeting needs wherever we see them. If we live this way, we’ll truly be disciples of Jesus Christ.

A Biblical Understanding of Tithing (Part 2: New Testament)

In the first post on tithing in the Mosaic Law, I outlined specifically how the tithe was to be used by the Israelites. The tithe, always food, was both eaten in celebration for God’s provision and also used to provide for those who were in need. Only a tenth of the tithe was specifically taken in the third and sixth year for those Levites ministering within the temple itself.  As we saw in Malachi 3, when the Israelites neglected to follow these commands and did not provide for those in need, God placed the land under a curse.

With the Old Testament tithing regulations alone, we already know the heart of God in giving is focused on providing for those who are truly in need.  God cares for the weak, the humble, and the down-trodden. This becomes even more clear as we begin to study what Jesus and the Apostles taught in the New Testament.

Christians Aren’t Bound by Tithing Laws

There actually is very little said about tithing in the New Testament.  This is mostly because tithing is something that was specifically for the Jews who were under the Mosaic Law. Once the temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, it would be impossible even for practicing Jews to fully observe the tithing commands.

When the question of whether the Gentile believers needed to submit to the Mosaic Law through circumcision, the church leaders were clear that they were not under the Mosaic Law.  Instead, they were only told “to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:20) Of course, we are still under the Law of Christ (which is different than the Mosaic Law), since obedience to God in regards to good and evil existed since the beginning of time.

So instead of focusing on tithing, we’ll have to study the heart of the matter.  We’ll look at financial giving in the New Testament and apply this to our understanding of modern “tithing.”

Jesus Emphasized Giving to the Needy

One could easily write a book about Jesus and giving, since generosity was a major theme of His teaching. We’ll touch on a couple key verses here, but they consistently teach us to care for those in need.

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus directs us to not hesitate to give when someone asks us for something.  He told his disciples, “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:42)  This applies not only to our friends, but even our enemies.  We are not to show partiality.

Later Jesus taught in parables, explaining the Day of Judgement when all the nations are gathered before Him.  Those who are welcomed into the kingdom are those who cared for the needy.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Matthew 25:34)

I could go on, but Jesus’ teachings are clear and consistent. Those who are obedient to Jesus are generous with their possessions towards those in need. And when we give, we are not to “sound a trumpet” before us, so our charity is noticed by others. Rather, we are to give in secret and God will reward us in eternity. (Matthew 6:4) There is a reason why Jesus told the rich young ruler, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21) Only those who are willing to put the needs of others above their own are worthy of the kingdom of God.  This is key to understanding God’s intention to giving.

Practices in Early Church

After Jesus ascended and the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples, the early believers lived out Jesus’ teachings within the Christian community almost immediately.  Luke tells us in Acts 2:44-45 that “all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;  they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.”  They were not only supporting one another financially, but sharing life with one another.

As time went on, this attitude of sharing only continued within the fledgling church in Jerusalem.

32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

Notice what happens after the financial proceeds were given to the apostles. It did not go to acquiring land for a church building or to the leader’s salaries. No, it was distributed back to the believers “as any had need” (v. 35). This was not a mandatory practice, but was done freely without compulsion.  As Peter told Ananias when he brought only a portion of his proceeds, “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” (Acts 5:4)  Whenever someone did freely give to the church, the apostles redistributed back out to the church members.

Contributions Towards the Jerusalem Famine

In addition to the mutual support occurring within the local church, more extreme circumstances within the larger geographic area required special care.  Through the Holy Spirit, the believers learned that a severe famine would soon arise.  This required additional financial contributions to be taken across all of the Christian communities to support those most adversely affected.

27 Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. 29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders. (Acts 11:27-30)

In 1 Corinthians, we read the specific instructions Paul gave to the Corinthian church in regards to this specific collection.

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me. (1 Corinthians 16:1-4)

Addressing practical concerns, Paul instructed the Corinthians to put aside a portion money every week, as they were willing and able. Essentially, Paul was encouraging them to start a savings plan, in order that the contribution would already be together upon his arrival. This monetary gift would then be sent to the Jerusalem church where the famine hit the hardest.

In Paul’s second letter to the same Corinthian church, he speaks of the generosity of the churches elsewhere towards their fellow believers. They gave “of their own accord,” meaning they gave exactly as each personally decided, regardless of the amount.

For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints (2 Corinthians 8:3-4)

Clearly, we see a biblical example being set by the early church. Financial giving was done specifically in response to a known need among the church.  Furthermore, any giving that was done was not mandated by the apostles, but was rather done freely as each felt led.  As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  And that’s exactly what we see in scripture.  The early church gave cheerfully out of their abundance to support the needs of their brothers and sisters, so that “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.” (2 Corinthians 8:15)

Paul’s Pastoral Example

The closest example we have from scripture that reflects the current practice of giving to support church leaders can be seen through Paul’s ministry. Paul, like some of the other apostles, traveled from city to city throughout the Roman empire preaching the gospel.

This itinerant lifestyle made it more difficult to earn a living for most evangelists.  For this reason, Paul is clear that those who work for the gospel should be allowed to receive compensation so they could continue their work.  He appeals to Jesus as the authority for his instruction, saying “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:14).

Despite having this right to be supported by the church, Paul said “we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.” (1 Cor. 9:12) He was able to do this, since he could support himself through his tent-making business (Acts 18:3), allowing him to be financially independent. Paul again emphasizes his decision to not receive compensation from the Corinthian church several sentences later in verse 15.

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel. (1 Cor. 9:15–18)

Although Paul did not take money from those he directly ministered too, we do know that at one point he received some support from the church in Philippi. (Phil 4:15)  We also find this mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians.

And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. (2 Corinthians 11:9)

What can we take away from this?  1) The Lord allows those who are working for the gospel to receive a living from their work, especially in a culture where itinerant travel hindered any ability to hold down a job. 2) Despite having this right, Paul wanted to ensure he was not hindering the gospel by accepting compensation.  He sets an example by working hard as a tent-maker to support his own needs. 3) Even when he did receive some funding, this was not from those he was directly ministering to. By his own admission, Paul “worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone” while preaching the gospel of God. (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Summary of Biblical Teachings on Tithing and Financial Giving

As we covered in part 1, the heart of the Mosaic Law tithing commandments focused on giving thanks to God for his provision, and just as importantly, providing food for those in need. Even the tenth of the tithe brought to the temple was to provide food for those ministering there. We saw God’s love for the down-trodden through these commands and the consequence of ignoring it was severe.  In Malachi, God rebuked the Israelite’s for neglecting the Mosaic tithing system. They would be under a curse until they would obediently begin to provide food for their needy widows, orphans, foreigners, and Levites. Overall, the tithing system was designed specifically for the Israelite nation, and only the heart of caring for others can be applied within our modern churches.

The importance of providing for the needy, seen in the Old Testament, is even more pronounced in the New Testament. Jesus repeatedly taught to give generously, just as God has provided for us. The early church shared everything in common, even selling property and redistributing the proceeds back out to those who needed it the most. When the famine arose, a voluntary collection was taken from churches across the Roman empire and many generously contributed. It was important to Paul that financial resources be used wisely and only as necessary. Consequently, throughout his own evangelistic ministry, Paul went out of his way to not receive support from those he was ministering to despite having the right to do so. He sets a high standard to anyone wishing to go into ministry full-time.

Now that we know what the scripture teaches in regards to tithing and giving in general, what does this really mean for us? How do we apply this within our Christian communities?  These are more difficult questions, some of which don’t have clear cut answers. I’ll reflect on this in part 3, and share my thoughts now that the foundation of scripture has been established.


A Biblical Understanding of Tithing (Part 1: Old Testament)

Tithing is a sticky subject. It’s not a particularly popular topic to preach on. Talking about giving money in general is uncomfortable. There’s always an example of a church that tries to open up people’s wallets in order to fund a bigger building, better sound system, hipper stage, and the list goes on. Usually there’s a sermon or two on the concept of sowing and reaping, with a not-so-subtle hint thrown in about giving above and beyond your means.  At least it’s for God, right?  I’m being facetious, although that is unfortunately a fairly accurate account of what occurs at many churches.

The scripture on this topic isn’t complicated. The great spiritual truths are simple. Rather than ignore this topic, let’s delve right in and talk about it. I’m not going to give you a rah-rah speech with a superficial reference to a verse taken out of context, but rather a thorough explanation of tithing and giving as taught in the Bible. As we’ll see, what is commonly called tithing in churches today really stems from misapplying scripture. The New Testament does clearly speak on financial giving, but there is a freedom and a holy purpose to giving that is often obscured when we attempt to mandate an Mosaic Law tithing system within a New Testament context.

In this post (part 1), we’ll begin by deciphering the Old Testament system of tithing under the Mosaic law.  In part 2, we’ll bridge the gap into the New Testament and see how the heart of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled when we walk by the Holy Spirit.

Tithe Means Tenth
Before we get started, we need to understand that a tithe means one-tenth, or ten percent. Some older English translations of the Bible, such at the King James Version (KJV), specifically use the word tithe.  However, in most modern translations, you’ll notice the same word is translated tenth. A tithe and a tenth are one and the same.

The Tithe of Abram and Jacob
We are first introduced to the tithe in Genesis 14:18-20, where Abraham, still Abram at this point, meets Melchizedek king of Salem after rescuing Lot and his family. As Hebrews 7:2 explains, Melchizedek in Hebrew means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace.”  Such a description clearly associated Melchizedek with Jesus Christ himself, although that is a topic for a different day. After Melchizedek blessed Abram, we read that Abram “gave a tenth of all” to him.  This is the first recorded tithe in scripture.

There are two things to observe here.  First, in this particular event, the tithe was a tenth of the spoils of war. Later, we’ll see that the tithe mandated in the Mosaic Law refers specifically to food, rather than money or material goods.  Second, while this sets a good example of giving, this did not occur because a command from God.  Abram gave to honor Melchizedek, rather than under compulsion.

The second mention of tithing is found later in Genesis, after Jacob fled his home.  God appeared to Jacob and promised to greatly bless him.  Upon waking, Jacob named the field Bethel and promised to give God a tenth of all that he received. “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” (Genesis 28:22)  Again, this sets a good example of generosity towards God, but was not a command. The specifics of tithing as a mandate are established later, after the Israelites escape slavery in Egypt.

Tithing under the Mosaic Law
All tithes under the Mosaic Law were essentially food, whether crops or animals from the herds or flocks. It was not money, since it’s specific purpose was to be eaten, as we’ll see.

“‘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. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD. He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.”‘ (Leviticus 27:30-33)

The tithe was not something offered every week or even every month.  The tithe varied depending on what year it was during a seven-year cycle that concluded in the seventh year with a sabbath rest of the entire land. We read this instruction in Exodus 23:10, “You may plant your land for six years and gather its crops. But during the seventh year, you must leave it alone and withdraw from it.”

The tithing system was based on a three-year cycle that repeated twice before the seventh year rest. The practice of tithing in the first and second year of the three-year period differed from the third year.  This three-year cycle then repeated once more before the seventh year, when no tithe was given.

Tithing in the First and Second Year
In the first and second year of the three-year cycle, the Israelites were to bring their tithe, along with the various offerings and gifts as prescribed the the Mosaic Law, to the temple in Jerusalem. Once there, they would actually eat their tithe before God in thanksgiving and celebration for God’s provision. For these first two years, it seems that God essentially mandated a vacation holiday. They set apart their produce like we allocate savings to have a (God-centered) party with their friends and family.

But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you. (Deut. 12:5-7)

“You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.” (Deut. 14:23)

If they could not feasibly bring their tithe to Jerusalem, they were allowed to sell their tithe and then use the money received to buy whatever food they wanted once they arrived in Jerusalem. God specifically instructed in this situation to “use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice.” (Deut. 14:26)

During these festivities they were not to forget the Levites, but were to share their food with them.  Since the Levites did not have any inheritance (which means land to cultivate crops, etc.), they could not supply their own food to eat and drink in celebration before God.

Tithing in the Third Year
In the third year, rather than traveling with their tithe to Jerusalem, the Israelites were to take the tithe and put it in storage within their towns. This tithe was specifically for those who could not provide food for themselves, namely Levites, foreigners, fatherless, and widows. The tithe here was essentially a mandated tax to be used a social safety net, to ensure those who needed it did not starve.  If you did not own land, whether being a Levite, orphan, etc., you could come a eat from the storehouse.

“At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deut. 14:28-29)

After the food was brought to the storehouses, the Levites were instructed to then take a tenth of this initial tithe (or a tithe of the tithe) and bring it into the Temple.  This portion was for those working within the Temple, for the “ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the singers.”  Rather than worrying about where their next meal would come from, they could focus on serving God in all that God commanded for Temple worship.

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering. Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD’s portion to Aaron the priest. You must present as the LORD’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’” (Numbers 18:25-29)

“Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and oil to the storerooms where the articles for the sanctuary are kept and where the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the singers stay.” (Nehemiah 10:37-39)

The Remainder of the Seven-Year Cycle
This three-year cycle described above repeated once more.  Two years in a row they would again bring their tithe into Jerusalem and eat it in celebration before God.  The year after that they would bring their tithe to the town storehouse for the needy.  The Levites would then take a tenth of that tithe for those ministering in the Temple.  So we see the three-year cycle occurs twice, covering a six-year time frame in total.  The seventh year was a year of rest, and no tithe was given since the land was not harvested.

Prophet Malachi on Tithing
Now that we understand what tithing involves, we can apply our knowledge. One of the most common verses on tithing, found in Malachi 3, is frequently cited and abused to increase financial giving. Whenever a church needs to fund a new project, you can be confident Malachi 3 will be quoted.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (Malachi 3:8-10)

Generally, this verse will be used without explaining how the tithe worked in ancient Israel. They don’t explain that the tithe was not used to pad the wallets of ministry leaders, but to fill the bellies of the hungry. They’ll say that if you don’t give money to the church you are under a curse and if you do give, God will bless you above and beyond your wildest expectations.

However, that’s now what it means at all.  God is saying here that if the Israelites begin to act obediently by providing food for the hungry, God will begin to bless them again. This is consistent with what we know about God throughout all of scripture.  When the Israelites were disobedient, God would place them under a curse in order to turn them back in repentance to Himself. The disobedience seen here in Malachi was the clear neglect of widows, orphans, foreigners, and Levites who had no land of their own.

Summary of Part 1
There are two clear purposes for tithing under the Mosaic Law.  The heart of these concepts can be easily applied within our own lives and our churches. However, as we’ve seen, the specifics of the tithing regulations are far different than anything we would normally associate with tithing. I don’t know the last time a pastor instructed his congregants to use their tithes to buy food and have a giant pot-luck feast in the church.

The two key take-aways from the Mosaic tithing system are:

  1. Tithing encouraged people to truly give thanks to God for all He gives us. God found pleasure when the people truly rested and enjoyed His provisions.
  2. God cares for the needy. He instructed that a tithe be set apart for those who could not easily provide food for themselves.

We’ll bring these concepts back around in the part 2, where we’ll begin to look at the New Testament instructions on giving.  There is a consistency between the heart of the Mosaic commands and God’s will for us in the Spirit as we’ll see.