The Scriptorium

Tithes and Offerings

They are an important part of worship. Deuteronomy 12.15-19

Concerning Worship: Deuteronomy 12 (4)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 118.26-29
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
God is the LORD,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 118.26-29

(St. George’s Windsor: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come)
Blessed are they who in His Name come and Jesus’ grace proclaim.
God His light upon us shines in the Savior’s sacrifice.
Praise and thanks to You, O Lord; we extol Your holy Word!
Thanks to You for You are good! Thanks to our great loving God!

Today’s Text: Deuteronomy 12.15-19

Preparation
1. What were the people supposed to do with their tithe?

2. How did the Levite factor into the tithe?

Meditation
First, a word of clarification: The people of Israel were free to kill and eat all kinds of clean meats in their homes (v. 15). Eating meat was pretty much an everyday occurrence in Israel. They just had to be careful not to eat the blood, but to drain it out on the ground (v. 16).

That being said, the meat that was set aside as a tithe to be offered to God was not to be eaten locally (v. 17). Not only the meat, but the grain, wine, and oil set aside for the Lord was to be taken to the place where the Lord had established His dwelling (vv. 17, 18). There the sacrifices and offerings could be given to the Lord and made by the priests before they were eaten by those who brought them, some of each offering being left over for the Levites (vv. 18, 19).

Three principles concerning worship can be discerned here. First, God expects His people to give tithes and offerings with gratitude, faith, and rejoicing. Second, those tithes and offerings are to be brought to the Lord’s house and given publicly as an act of worship. Third, a portion of those tithes and offerings are to go to the care of those who serve in the Lord’s house, while the rest is devoted to the ministry of the church, including the benefits that come to those who make offerings.

All our tithes and offerings, however, are tokens of the fact that we give our entire lives, every day, as living sacrifices to our Lord (Rom. 12.1, 2). We are not our own; we have been bought with a price. God has called us by His Name, and we are His.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
- Where did God say to bring the tithes?
  “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the LORD” (Mal. 3.10).
- Who would benefit besides the tither?
  “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (1 Thess. 5.12, 13).
- What should be the overall attitude of the tither?
  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5.16-18).
- Will you be blessed in your obedience?
  “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (Jn. 13.17).

Reflection

1. What’s the best way to make sure that you are giving your tithes to the Lord as you should?

2. Why are tithes and offerings such an important part of our worship of God?

3. The blessings of God are clearly tied to obedience in tithes and offerings. Why is that?

Aspects of God’s worship that were designed for community celebration were not to be done in the privacy of the home. Instead, God would designate the place where He would be worshiped. In a similar way, the NT places a strong emphasis on the community of believers. rejoice: God’s prohibitions were designed for the mutual pleasure of God and the people.
Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note on Deuteronomy 12.17, 18

Lord, make me a living sacrifice today, and use me to…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 118.14-24
Praise God for the salvation we have in Jesus. Call on Him to give you strength to live for Christ throughout this day.

Psalm 118.14-24
(St. George’s Windsor: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come)
In the Savior we are strong! He is all our strength and song!
To His grace now raise your voice; in His righteousness rejoice!
For the Lord does valiantly; we shall live eternally.
Praise His works with all your breath, you whom He redeems from death.

All who know Christ’s righteousness His great Name now thank and bless!
Though His gate full righteous is, He our saving mercy is.
Cast aside and left alone, Christ is now our Cornerstone!
God has made His Son and Word our salvation: Praise the Lord!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore