B. God gives us a continuing way to demonstrate that we know all we have comes from Him and to reflect our continiung gratitude - the tithe.
1. The fundamental basis of the tithe:
Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein."
2. The purpose of the tithe is set out in Deuteronomy 14:22, 23. It is to remind you always to put God first in your lives.
"You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always."
3. The tithe is mentioned throught out the Old Testament from the first to the last books.
a. When Abram rescued Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom, he gave 10% of the recovery to Melchizadek (probably a preincarnate appearance of Christ). Genesis 14:18-20.
b. When Jacob had his vision at Bethel of angels ascending and descending. Genesis 28:10-22.
c. When Moses brought the law of God to the people, the tithe command was there. Deuteronomy 12.
4. God instructed His people to pay a tithe of one-tenth of their increase to those devoted to His work. The tithe was to underwrite the work of God in the world, the work of God in the midst of the people.
a. At the time of the Exodus, God separated out the tribe of Levi to do the work of the sacrificial, priestly and tabernacle operation and maintenance functions. No land or inheritance in Canaan supported the tithe.
b. Levites also took on the religious instruction function for priests and Levites, for the King (copy out the law), and the people; also judging disputes according to Biblical standards.
c. The tithe was specifically to be used for poor relief.