Tag Archives: treasure

Leviticus 26-27; Tithing?

Have you ever been tempted to buy back your tithe? God gave Moses directions for how the Old Testament Jews could do just that, with interest of course. That whole idea is confusing to me.

Malachi will tell us to just bring the whole tithe to the storehouse and leave it there. Give it away and go.

The Old Testament tithe was not usually monetary. They tithed their crops, their animals. But, like one commentator pointed out, you don’t read about carpenters giving 10% of their profit.

Now, before you go cancelling that check you wrote last Sunday, let me remind you what Jesus’ take on Old Testament Law was and is. Don’t murder becomes don’t hate. Don’t commit adultry becomes don’t lust. An eye for an eye becomes turn the other cheek, love your neighbor and do good to those who harm you. And, although Jesus didn’t specifically name all the Laws God gave Moses, I believe we can apply the same principle.

Don’t tithe. Or should I say don’t just tithe. Don’t limit yourself to 10% of the gross or the net of your income. Give as God has given. Where your treasure is there your heart is also. God loves a cheerful giver.

And if we give generously from the heart, it won’t matter if the Old Testament provisions for buying back a tithe is confusing. We wouldn’t consider the possibility.

It’s all God’s anyway. I want to old nothing back from Him. He didn’t hold anything back from me.

Our Treasure

Isaiah 33: 6b says: The fear of the Lord will be your treasure.

Fear? Why doesn’t Isaiah say, “love’, or “grace”, or even “presence”? He talks about God reigning in Jerusalem and “providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge”. Then he says fearing God is our treasure.

I wonder how well we really know God. This Scripture tells me that being saved, receiving wisdom from above, and learning who God is, leads to fear of him. I wonder, if we were polled, how many Christians would say that God scares them.

I loved my dad and was loved by him. But I made certain choices in my life based on the fear of disobeying him. He wore a belt that was a reminder of painful consequences for disobedience.

I don’t see many children fearing their parents. I see some parents fearing their children, afraid to hurt their egos if they say, “No”, or if they swat their bottoms, heaven forbid. I don’t see many Christians fearing God, either.

The Bible teaches that fear and love are not mutually exclusive, and both are necessary for healthy living. We can’t preach God’s love and ignore his holiness, his demand to be obeyed.

We’re foolish if we neglect to remember that the consequences for disobeying him are painful and eternal.

Holy God, you scare me. When I really try to picture your holiness, your power, your anger toward sin, and when I realize how serious you are about being obeyed, I am afraid. I am afraid of the consequences, afraid of disappointing you or angering you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for saving me. Help me to live with a healthy fear, and a realistic look at who you are. Give me your righteousness, and strengthen me to live a life pleasing to you. I love you. I praise you. I worship you in all your holiness.