DEVOTION:NO ONE SHOULD ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THIS!
In our previous lesson, we learnt that tithes are to be brought into the house of the Lord. One might ask, for what purpose? The Lord has a specific answer for this.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Malachi 3:10a
Did you get the answer? The Lord says, “that there may be food in my house.” But one might further ask, “Who needs food in the house of the Lord?” The following passage offers the answer to that question.
“I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting. From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 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. 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.‘ Numbers 18:21-24
The highlighted verses above specifically say that tithes belong to the Levites or priests. In addition, the Lord qualifies why Levites and priests must be given the tithes. Read this again:
They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.
This phrase is repeated twice in this passage. Look at the last statement of verse 24.
That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’
When the children of Israel were allotted parcels of land in the promise land, the tribe of Levi was not given any land. Priests and Levites both came from one and the same tribe. So the priests and Levites were not given any land for themselves. Here are some specifics about this.
The LORD said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. Numbers 18:20
The Levitical priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. Deuteronomy 18:1-2
Today’s temple/tabernacle is the church. And today’s priests and Levites are the pastors. But in today’s world, we have more than the pastors working or serving in the church full time.
These passages clearly show those who need food to eat in the temple. This is why the Lord says, bring the tithe to my house so that there might be food.
1. In spite of what you have read above, there exist different views on who should be given the tithes or what it should be used for. I must admit this is my first time seeing these passages that so clearly delineate how the tithes should be used. The tithe is to be given to the Levites or pastors. Though I was raised up in a different tradition that does not give tithes to the pastors or Levites, it is hard to argue with those who do this based on these passages. Of course a contemporary relevant application must be applied. I would like to do further studies on this.
2. Like the Old Testament counterparts, pastors are called to serve the Lord in the same capacity, i.e. full time. It is nearly impossible to serve the Lord part time as a pastor. But there are many pastors who are forced to do this because they are not compensated enough to meet the needs of their families.
3. It must be pointed out here that it is not only the tithes that believers give to the Lord. There is first fruits, love offerings, sacrificial offerings, and thanksgiving offerings among others. In other words this is not the only source of income for the church.
4. Some pastors come from affluent families and might receive an inheritance from their parents. This does not disqualify them from being compensated for what they do for the Lord. Read the following passage,
If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose, he may minister in the name of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord. He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions. Deuteronomy 18:6-8
5. What have you learned from today’s devotional?
a. State what you have learnt
b. State how you will apply this to your life
c. State your action plan based on what you have learnt
This is what The Lord says about tithes
I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel
As their inheritance in return for the
Work they do while serving
At the Tent of Meeting.
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto