Main Text: "Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land." Deuteronomy 12:19
Objective: To recognize the importance of our giving of tithes and offerings.
Submitted by: L.A. Feliciano. Released May 12, 1999 to the Public Domain.
The Levites Inheritance
What are Tithes?
First Biblical Example
Protection from the enemy
Their support came from the tithes and offerings that were given by the people. From this tithes and offerings, they will then give their own tithes, and the rest was used for their daily needs. In contrast to the wealthy priests of Egypt, the Levites received no land. God himself was their share and inheritance.
23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.
24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord. That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.'
So the physical survival of "Full-time ministers" depended on how faithful the other Israelites were. Likewise, today we should be careful "not to neglect the Levites as long as you life in your land." Deuteronomy 12:19.
And the reason why we should not neglect them is, because we do not want to withhold our own blessing from coming to us. And we are to avoid this from happening by our giving of our tithes and offerings.
Tithes are a tenth of one's NET INCOME that is given to God, as an expression of our gratitude and reverence to HIM, used to feed the priests, pay temple expenses, and help the poor.
To whom the tithes belong? They belong to God.
Leviticus 27:30 '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.'
The first mention of someone giving tithes in the Bible is found in Genesis 14:
17 'After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 An blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.'
By Abram giving a tenth of everything, he was recognizing the Sovereignty of God over all things.
6 "I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty. But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings.
Refusal to give our tithes and offerings, not only constitutes lack of reverence to the Word of God, and negligence to the Levites who minister before the Lord, but it withholds us from receiving the blessings that God has for us.
Blessings to be received through our obedience and worshipful fear of the Lord includes, Protection and abundance.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
No matter how difficult a situation might seem to be, God will provide for the needs of those who obey HIM and fear HIM.
Psalm 37:19 In times of disaster they will not wither: in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
Was not Elijah fed by ravens in times of difficulty? (I Kings17:1-6). Was not the widow of Zarephath provided for during the famine? (I Kings 17:13-16).
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty.
12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the Lord Almighty.
Unless we move in obedience to His Word, we are withholding ourselves from these blessings that God has for us.
- Have I been withholding my blessings?