What your pastor never told you about the old testament – Part 5
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” Acts 2:42
Our last edition centred on TITHING. We found that the New Testament has no binding law on TITHES, as it was a DIVINE enactment for the Jews. Rather, the New Testament commands Christians to give as they are prospered (I Cor 16:2; 2Cor 8:12-14). Today, the Scripture will reveal what TITHE is, its origin, types, etc.
What Tithe Is:
Tithe is simply a consecrated and set apart for GOD, a tenth part (10 per cent) of one’s produce of the earth, goods, possessions, etc. (Lev 27:30,32-33).
The Origin Of Tithe:
The origin of the tithe was custom-related. It dated back to early times. Two pre-Mosaic examples of tithes were when Abraham, on gaining notable victory after rescuing Lot, paid tithe to Melchizedek of the goods he seized in battle as a reciprocal gesture (Gen 14:17-20; Heb 7:1-4). Similarly, Jacob, asking GOD for a journey grace to a distant land promised GOD a tenth of his possessions, should he reach safely his journey’s end and subsequent return (Gen 28:20-22).
By this, people acknowledged GOD to be the Supreme Owner of all things and the sole giver of divine blessings. This ancient custom of giving one-tenth existed as a voluntary act of devotion, long before it became a compulsory practice under the Law of Moses.
Types Of Tithe:
In His subsequent regulated legislation on tithe, GOD clearly designated three types of tithe to Israel to pay for specific purposes.
• The tithe for the Levites;
• The localised tithe prescribed by GOD to be paid every three years to the Levitical tribe, strangers, widows, orphans and the needy of all description (Deut 14:28-29; 26:12-15);
• The tithe of tithes paid by the Levites to GOD (Num 18:25-32).
Remember tithe was never paid in cash, except only when the condition in Deut 14:22-26 became necessary and its attendant fine imposition (Lev 27:31).
Why Israel Paid Tithe:
When the children of Israel finally got to the Promised Land, all the twelve tribes but one (Levi) was allotted a piece of land according to the dictates of GOD (Gen 35:22-26; Num 18:24; 35:1-8). The tribe of Levi received no allotment, as it was chosen to constitute the priesthood of GOD. GOD commanded that the Israelites should bring one-tenth (10%) of all their farm produce, flocks, herds, crops, etc., to sustain the tribe of Levi, which had no portion of the land. This became statutory and infused into the coded Law of Moses (Num 18:20-30).
All Bible excerpts are from the KJV.