The Store House—Conclusion

Hello Lovely Family, we bring you the concluding part of the Store house. Thanks for staying with us.

The tithe cannot buy you Heaven

Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor; Christ taught us that those two were the greatest commandments and all of the Laws & Prophets hang on these two commandments (cf. Matt. 22:36-40). The words of Christ always emphasized the importance of these two aspects, the first being more spiritual and the second being corporally complementing, “for anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). Obeying the law has never been what matters most for Christians. Being like Christ outweighs everything. The laws (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) were a shadow of Who is to come (Christ). Remember the story of a young rich ruler who was a professional law-abiding Jew (cf. Mark 10: 17-22). You could say he was a hard-core tither and Christ loved him because he wanted more than the blessings of life on earth. He wanted more than the windows of heaven flooding him with goodies. He wanted eternal life; that very one John, the Evangelist, talked about in the opening of His first letter which was with the Father and they beheld it as the Son (I John 1:1-4). Christ loved him very much because of his desire and told him to give 100%, neither to the Jerusalem temple nor to Judas Iscariot, the treasurer of his new ministry, but directly to the major shareholders of storehouse Inc. Ltd. Plc i.e. the Poor. Have you ever wondered why Christ didn’t just say, “I love you so much man… believe in me, keep obeying the laws, and especially, paying your tithes so you don’t miss eternal life”? This request Christ made was the most difficult of decisions and I bet you that it would be difficult today, even for some of the rich holies of our present time. It’s difficult to give 100% to the poor especially when we have so much (cf. Matt. 25: 31-46). But Christ assures us that the very act of giving to those in need among us would guarantee that we get eternal life and make it to heaven. Once again remember it’s not grudgingly or out of necessity. As much as we are motivated by our desire to imitate Christ, we are not bound by the necessity to give 100%. Not all can be heroic and Christ knew this, that is why he taught his Apostles to show us that Grace ensures that we are rewarded for trying to the best of our efforts of Love. Yet such a reward for efforts is not the case when we do not even try at all.

The New Covenant, more terrifying than the Old

Indeed, we have received grace and are beyond the curses of the Old Covenant in Moses. Most of us understand that the old has been perfected in the new for many reasons. I am a deep lover of Covenant Theology and I read a long course on the History of Salvation by Scott Hahn. In many ways I have come to terms with the fact God has fulfilled in Christ what He started with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David. God’s plan was to make Israel a nation of Priests (Exodus 19:6) who would teach other nations but only Levi made the cut, and even in Levi, only the line of Aaron was selected for this Holy Order. In Christ, He successfully made the new Israel a global kingdom of Priests (I Pet. 2:9) chosen to do way better than the Levitical priests could ever do. It is important to understand how all Covenants come with a Blessing for obedience and Curse for disobedience. If Israel suffered the old temporary curses from not tithing, we the Sons of God should realize that by not heeding to our Lord’s Commands in the new and everlasting Covenant to be the storehouse of God’s people, which includes the Clergy who do God’s work and, most importantly, the Poor in our midst, we risk a far more everlasting curse which is the loss of eternal life. Every time I think of Eternal life, I like to think of it the way John heard (I too want to hear), saw with his eyes (I must see), looked upon (I want to gaze upon Him in awe too), handled with his hands and bore witness to (I’ll probably be dead by then but my memory must be a witness in the world too), of the Word of Life which was with the Father (I John 1:1-4). Although Love compels us to do what we have been called to for our neighbors, the hope of seeing Eternal life as the I AM that He is would be a knowledge overload that would make my hungry soul bask in an infinite bliss of having all my questions answered. At least that’s one way I fantasize spending my eternity with Christ. This is my HOPE. Dream about whatever holy fantasy would fulfil you, it’s allowed. Lol! May the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with us now and forever! Amen!

 

P.S. –

I would be taking you into ancient writers to better share the experience I had and to show you other sources like St. Augustine who had something to say on tithing and giving. The insights are so deep and precise but I will take out a few, though it may seem to be much, points I had taken out of the numerous points I couldn’t even finish devouring. I must warn that if your level of understanding grammatical sentences is very limiting, these quotes would sound a bit ambiguous but the more you dissect the long sentences into tinier ones, the more illuminating it would feel to realize you just read ancient texts from some of the oldest writers in our faith. Hehehehe!

 

Do follow us on all our social media platform @Godlywomenarising Guess what we have a final teaser for you all tomorrow and on Monday we will be posting a new post titled I am not a Hypocrite. Come let’s examine our lives under the microscope.

 

The StoreHouse—-Those Beyond the Law

Hello Lovely Family, We are gradually getting to the end of what has been a wonderful and enlightening series on the Store House. I can’t believe that by Friday we will be done with Tithing and move on to other issues. I like to talk but for now just dig in.

 

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When you look at the Laws of tithing in Deuteronomy, the poor had an entitlement in these offerings and tithes (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-5). Discovering that God’s intention for the storehouse was majorly to make it a place where there would be food to feed those who are hungry was a real spiritual awakening for me. Realizing just how money and material blessings corrupted the Jews so much that the store house became more commonly used as a treasury to store wealth (cf. 1 Chron. 26:20; Neh. 13:13) while the most important things became neglected made me understand we Christians are just as corruptible as ancient Israel used to be.

In Christ, the laws, even that of the tithes, were to be fulfilled and He taught his own repeatedly that there should be no limit to how much care you put into giving for this reason. His Apostles did just the same thing and gave 100% of their time and their life to this cause. You can read it up in the Acts of the Apostles. I won’t bother myself quoting a single passage for you. READ! No one burdened their followers on laws such as tithing because much more was expected from those who were beyond the law and they were filled with the grace to do exceedingly more than a mere one-tenth tithe, one-sixth and one-fifth offerings or even first fruits. New Israel has been commanded, under the dispensation of grace, to give everything to the cause of God’s true justice. The Apostles were really strict about the dangers of subjecting anyone to the law because every law comes with both a curse and a blessing. Those who are in Christ have received the grace to do beyond what the law demands. St. Paul while talking about the dangers of being held by the laws [of circumcision] warns that they are obligated to obey the whole law if they obey just one of it and “this persuasion does not come from Him [Christ] who calls you” (cf. Gal. 5). Be wary of being forced to obey the laws of Moses. Such persuasion does not come from Christ who calls you. The Apostles taught the faithful to have collections for the Lord’s people and that’s the most you will see in the infant Church of the New Testament concerning commandments of giving.

An Example in Corinth

In Corinth, St. Paul had sown the seed of Christ in the hearts of a good number of faithful but the sheer number of spiritual gifts they kept receiving made these young Christians very unruly in many aspects. In Pauline fashion, he decides to address their misunderstandings in a letter with his usual style of admonishing, in an act to drive home key points that matter most, before returning to the loving fatherly figure he is in person. After talking about divisions, disputes, sacrilegious feasting of the Eucharist and abuse of spiritual gifts he gives them the most important teaching on Love/Charity in chapter 13 before giving them the same commands of giving every Sunday for the purpose of the Lord’s people (I Cor 16:2). Please do not mistake the “Lord’s people” to just mean the Church leaders only because they are not the main people who these collections were for. They were for those Jesus mentioned in Matthew, remember the hungry, thirsty, naked etc. These were the purpose for giving so that all can find meat in the New Covenant storehouse of God (cf. Matt. 25: 31-40). It was important for the faithful in Corinth to understand that they were under no lawful compulsion but were expected to give from the heart so, in his second letter, Paul included the emphasis “not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” to drive the commandment home. Those words were forever etched in my heart as a child even if I didn’t really understand why (see. II Cor 9).

 

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The Storehouse— The Red Bible of Tithing

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“The red bible” is an interesting term used to describe the words of Christ in the new testament scriptures. I have repeatedly mentioned that it’s important to read the entire chapter or book to get a full picture of the situation. In the case of the gospels, it’s important to not just read the book, but compare the other Gospels because they complement each other. The synoptic gospels of Saints Matthew, Mark & Luke are full of similarities and the gospel of St. John the Evangelist brings to light deeper things about Christ that the others either mentioned in passing or didn’t mention at all for many debatable reasons.

The Christ and the Tithe by Matthew

The famous woes to the Scribes and Pharisees is an interesting section of Jesus accusing this elite Jews of many wrong doings (cf. Matt.23). At a point in verse 23, Jesus said this about tithes: ‘Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites! For you pay tithes…and have neglected more important matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith”. I wonder if Jesus sounds familiar to you? Imagine with me if Matthew had written this in the same style Malachi had written. It would involve Jesus wrestling them about perverting justice (lies), not being merciful to the poor among them (filling up the store houses) and not having faith (believing in the God of the Heavenly Armies). But they will answer him by saying, at least we’re better than our ancestors, we pay our tithes. But Jesus would shoot back that what they have done was good but the more important aspects were being ignored. But Matthew didn’t mention anything about feeding the poor in that place so it’s safe to assume from Matthew that Jesus wasn’t talking about the poor in his tithing discourse but insisted on the payment of the tithe. It’s easy in our modern English language to ignore the meanings of words like justice and mercy because they have become common political and moral terms rather than actual spiritual goals. It was when I looked up just how Luke covered this same discussion that I reexperienced my storehouse moment more vividly. Exciting!

The Christ and the Tithe by Luke

I want to first acknowledge St. Augustine of Hippo (354 -430AD), my role model in searching the scriptures, in whose work on the Sermon on the New Testament, Homily 56, I discovered this revelation in Luke’s Gospel account.

Here Luke tells us a story of how Jesus came about to be in that position of wrestling with the elites. Christ was given a special invite to the house of this Jewish elite and what ensued lead to the hatred Jesus suffered from the Scribes and Pharisees (cf. Luke 11:37-53). It started with their disgust at the Christ’s seemingly lack of hygiene. Knowing this arrogant piety in them, I mean He knows all things, He began to bash them with woes because of their dirty hearts, including the very same words Matthew used (Luke 11:42; cf. Matt. 23:23). But just before he did that, I observed my store house moment in his words. “Give alms of such things as you have, then your heart would indeed be clean”. I read this in NKJV, KJV, NIV, CPD and MSG bible versions just so I can be sure that Christ has first told these Pharisees that by providing for the poor among them, they would indeed have truly clean/perfect hearts but rather they give tithes and ignore more important things. This act is an integral part of God’s true justice.

Luke had brought to light something quiet about the scenario that Matthew had ignored. Perhaps Matthew, being in Jerusalem and writing an account to Jew, expected his fellow Jewish Christians to understand that love for the needy was more important than other laws. Luke, on the other hand, knew he was writing to Theophilus (Gk. Lover of God) who was definitely non-Jewish. He was writing to we lovers of God who never knew the importance of the law so that we can have just as much insight as a Jew concerning the issue Jesus cursed the religious bigots about.

I took a break to soak in just how important tithing was and just how much Christ fulfilled it by overcoming our subjugation to the bondage of the law and filling us with grace to do above and beyond this. My head started to spin ecstatically. I hadn’t been under the bondage of paying tithes by any law but I had never been able to successfully have a corporal contact with the poor. I mean, I give to their cause because it’s easier for me to give people who would give them. But I have only given them the cheapest of my treasures: my money. I’ve almost never directly given them my food, my clothes, my hugs or even a common handshake. I have never given them the most precious thing I have which is my time on Earth. I realized I was way worse than a non-tither because I really can’t remember how long it’s been since I did a single corporal work of mercy as is in the Commandments of the Catholic Church I totally believed in. I was disappointed with myself for all the intelligent excuses I come up with for not doing the most important reason for God blessing me. Once again, I felt the gospel humiliate me in all versions of hidden pride I hadn’t really noticed till now. Forgive me O Lord, for I have neglected to feed the sick, the hungry, those in captivity and even the foreigners in our midst; Help me find the grace to see you in them rather than only see the laziness of those who seem to exploit begging as a profession. In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen!” I prayed.

 

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We would be posting the concluding parts from Tomorrow till the end of the week and from Monday we will get back to our usual Monday posts. Guess what we have something interesting planned for Monday. Stay Tuned.

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The Store House— The Store house Robbers

Hello Lovely Family, who has missed us. Yes We are back from our brief hiatus and We would be dishing out the posts every Friday and Monday until we are done with the #Tithing post and then we are back to our regular Monday posts. #Getreadytobeschooled as usual. Thanks for sticking with us. Now savour this post.

 

The book of Malachi: Conversation or Argument?

100 years after Nehemiah, the prophet Malachi had come to observe a Jerusalem far worse than it was in Nehemiah’s days. The author of this book expresses the issues of Israel like a poem in which God accuses Israel and Israel, in defiance, rather than be sober for their sins, accuse God too for not being faithful as in the days of yore (I like that word. Lol!). If you look at the poetic book of Malachi from the very first pages, you would see that wrestling nature that is quintessentially Israel. God says “I have loved you”, the wrestler says “In what way have You loved us” (Mal. 1:2). It’s like a Father trying to give a stubborn first-born reason to realize just how special he is. That’s how the author keeps this discussion. God accusing Israel of their wrong deeds and Israel disagreeing rhetorically.
This generation addressed by the prophet had become way more notorious and evil than their ancestor, Jacob. Rather than wrestle for a blessing they wrestled to show God that His ways are irrelevant. From arguing about the importance of good sacrifices (for they had become like Cain who offered unworthily), to disagreeing about their reasons for divorce, accusing God of favoring evil men over godly men and even claiming that YHWH, the God of the Angelic Armies (commonly interpreted God of Host), had gotten weak for refusing to bring his presence to the tabernacle. This argument was intense and, believe you me, the author’s poetic style shows just how much guts Israel had to keep on disagreeing with the Almighty. They were boldly breaking His laws I tell you.
It’s important to understand that this poetic rendering of the book is the reality of what these people did in the land they had returned to. The discussion, in a sense, begins to be more specific in chapter 2 when God starts to talk directly to the Holy elites in the land, the priests.
The first accused God-Robbers
“And now, you priests, this warning is for you” (Mal 2:1). From this point on we can see God addressing issues with their services and hearts. He accused them for their lack of integrity, then he accuses them of being unfaithful and says they have wearied Him with their talk because they accuse him of not being a just God. God responds with a prophecy in chapter 3 by letting them know of the Messiah who will vindicate his Name by executing His true justice. What exactly is His true justice? Then the discussion becomes more specific to my research in verse 6. God accuses them of not returning [to Him], they argue again “how are we to return”? It’s interesting to note that this discussion is still with the priests. God accuses them of robbing Him in verse 8, they argue again with a question. In verse 9 God says “You are under a curse, even your whole nation, because you are robbing me” (Mal. 3:9). There is a curse for not tithing and both the priests and the nation have been placed under it. Now God urges them to bring all the tithe into the storehouse… why? “That there may be food in my house” (Mal. 3: 10). I know you want me to tell you about the huge blessings that followed this but you could read it up yourself if you really want to know. At this moment I paused, went back, and read this again “That there may be food in my house”. I screamed! This was my eureka moment. I started to see dimensions of visions so I took my new knowledge of Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi and started researching ancient texts, literatures and scriptures to see if what I might have been hallucinating was seen by others and indeed it was.
You see that statement creates a new question. Who would eat all of this food in the storehouse? I wondered if what God really wanted when gave Moses the laws of tithes and offerings was for the other 12 tribes to cater for the needs of one so they could improve his monuments of worship and keep a fat bank account in its treasury so they can be financially rich on paper. I tried imagining some GDP calculations for Levi and it was ridiculous. Assuming every tribe made 100 million yearly, then those who slaved under the sun would be left with 90million after tithe while the ones who served in the most beautiful duties of the land ended up with 120 million. This would be the revenue from tithing alone. By the time you include all those other offerings wen be like 15-20% of annual income, the tribe of Levi fit dey enter like 300 million while others would be left with like 50 to 60 million annually. Where is the Justice in that? I’m sure God’s true Justice, estimated financially, must be true to the very last calculation.
I started to realize that the most neglected reason for tithing mentioned earlier i.e. provisions of food for the poor, was the most important reason for tithing. Yes salaries, money and building maintenance was important but feeding the people of God who couldn’t afford to feed was the crucial thing. These Levites were receiving tithes from the people of Israel but they weren’t putting it in the storehouse so that the House of God would be a house of plenty. They were keeping it all to themselves. They weren’t paying a tithe of the tithe and the people weren’t paying their tithes too. Remember God accused them of their lack of integrity. They robbed him. I wonder how familiar this sounds today.
I want to share a little more depth into those verses so that you can see why the storehouse is the purpose of all the offering and tithing laws that the Israelites were subjected to. It was to teach them how to properly take care of the ones God has put under their care. Well let’s not stop there because we would discover that many years later, when the Messiah Malachi prophesied about came to the very same land or Jerusalem, He addressed the very same issue but in a subtler way. His words are frequently quoted as a common verse for pro-tithing Christians. The promised Messiah would bring about God’s true Justice and He would teach this in ways the common eyes might just overlook because we are no longer used to seeing things in scriptures the way the first generation of Christians did.

 

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God bless you.

The Store House— Chapter 5

Hello Lovely Family. Sorry for posting this late but yipee we are up and we are excited to share this with you all. Today’s post is on the laws of Tithing

 

The Captivity of Oath Breakers
Allow me introduce you to another brief history of Israel. Being the people of God, the one thing this mighty nation spent many long years doing was wrestling with God. After all, that’s exactly how their father got that name. They went into repeated Covenants with God and God blessed them abundantly for it but generations later they break this Covenants and the curses of the covenant follows. If you read the Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy) you would see in details most of the Covenant blessings, and curses that would follow if broken. Most curses led to loss of their homeland and captivity by their enemies. This they experienced greatly after the loss of the Davidic dynasty and the Medo-Persian Empire captured them. While in Persia, Babylon, God started to raise up those loyal to Him who would teach the people to remember His Holy Name. People like Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah were very instrumental in taking the people back to the promised lands to help rebuild the temple, and revive true worship of the Covenant God [YHWH]. None of the chosen reformers found this task easy. As a matter of fact, they were so unsuccessful that prophets after prophets came after them with warnings and promises of the Messiah to come. The Chosen One himself wen go finish work.
This briefly summarized situation is what we see in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Understanding this story made it possible to see Malachi in its contextual light and that was when I had my first light bulb moment. That was when I found the storehouse.
Back from Captivity: the tithe of the returning sons
Ezra and some Jews in exile, by the permission of the Persian king, Artaxerxes, had come back to their strong city of peace (Jeru-Salem) to rebuild it and cause the people to purify their Israeli race. He discovered a lot of them had intermarried with non-Israelis and this was indeed a sin according to the law (Deut. 23:1-4). He and the elders gave decrees to divorce these foreign women and their foreign babies and send them away insisting they had polluted the people of God and made them slaves of idolatry. This was hurtful. Most importantly the Levites had to follow this decree so that they can uphold the law and begin to serve in the temple again. They were made to observe this divorce en masse and this became a very common practice.
Treasures and Supplies
After Ezra, Nehemiah had come to rebuild the walls and the people started to observe the laws faithfully again. That was when I first observed in scriptures that the Israelites tithed exactly as the law had instructed in Numbers 18. In Nehemiah’s days, the children of Israel took their tithe and paid to the sons of Levi, as was their entitlement for taking care of God’s house, then these Levites paid a tithe of the tithe they received to the priests in the store house. They also brought all the offerings into the store house so they will not neglect the house (Neh. 10: 38-39). These offerings and tithes were used for the maintenance of the house of God, the salaries to the Levites, since they had no inheritance in the land, and, very easily neglected, provisions for the poor. At the end of Nehemiah’s book, he observed that they had stopped observing the tithe laws and he corrects it, brings back the Levites to the House of God but is still unable to make them obedient to God. He kind of tells God that he has done his best but this him people no dey hear word (cf. Neh. 13) and he ends with asking God to at least remember him for his good attempts (Neh. 13:31).
The ease at which Israel found it to disobey the strict laws of Moses in a sense shows just how revolting Humans can be. However, when they were in their right state of mind, they knew just how important it was to ensure that all the storehouse was filled again with treasures and food supplies as in the glorious days of the kings of Israel. Every time they strayed from God, they neglected to fill up this treasury room and God would send prophets to rebuke their actions and remind them of just how important it was to do these things. Soon we would come to understand why Malachi said a few things to complain about as we contemplate the significance of the storehouse in ancient Israel.

Stay tuned and see you on Friday. God bless you all abundantly.

The Store House— Those above the Law

Hello Lovely Family, Yea today is the fourth post in a series of engaging and inspiring posts. We are gradually getting to the nitty-gritty of the #Tithing post. This post is one you should not be in a hurry to finish. You need to take your time and understand the different characters from Abraham to Jacob to Melchizedek and their roles in the #Tithing journey. Have a Bible by your side as you undertake this journey of enlightenment. Now dig in.

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Biblical Ages and Laws

This time we would briefly go through three major ages in the bible before we run through the tithes of the Patriarchs. A little more background history to help us see the picture. The Laws were given by God to Moses. But we must understand that Sin existed before the Law came and justified sin [making it more valid] (cf. Romans 7). The Laws came to be in a Covenant God made with Israel through Moses. Before Moses there was no law so sin, though in existence, did not condemn those Patriarchs who were true Sons of God. These ancient fathers whose names portrayed special qualities were known to exist in the Patriarchal Age and they were way before the law. The next was the Law Age which makes up most of the Old Testament books of the Law & Prophets. These people received the Law and were bound by it. The last period is the Age of Grace in Christ Jesus.  Rejoice for even you & I are still in that age. Those who existed before the Law are above the Law and those who existed in the age of Grace are beyond it. Feel free to let every debate run through your head. It’s a really interesting topic.

The Tithes of the Patriarchs

I started to study the tithes of those above the law to understand why, in a sense, these people who were under no obligation chose to tithe. I began to ask myself the difficult questions so I can unlock some insights into this. Who is Melchizedek and why did Abram (Heb. Exalted Father) tithe to him (Gen 14:18-20)? Secondly, I asked Why did Abram refuse to take his share of the loot despite already tithing and being entitled to it (Gen 14:22-24)? When Jacob (Heb. Swindler) saw the famously sung dream “ladder ladder ladder ladder eh…”, what made him wake up from his dream and promise he will tithe (Gen 28:10-22)? I eventually got a bit of insights but I want to point out that this exalted father and his grandson the ancient 419er didn’t need to obey any laws to be blessed because blessings were already guaranteed to them by direct promises from God, yet they felt the need to. I’ve heard prominent teachers say they did this as an act of gratitude and this is acceptable. I’m sure Abram was grateful for winning a war alone with his 3 associates against 5 mighty kings and He had an existing mysterious Priest Melchizedek who would collect his tithe. I can’t help but wonder who his swindler grandson had promised to pay tithes to in a generation when there were no priests and the only mysterious one was, perhaps, passed away. This is the depth of how I’ve had to think about these two Patriarch tithers.

Although I haven’t found more fulfilling answers, I would say that Abrams act of gratitude and selflessly giving back to those kings who had lost everything to the 5 kings was heroic. Abram giving so heroically to the point of giving his only legitimate son, guaranteed his elevation him from the exalted father Abram to Abraham (Heb. father of Multitudes). This great Patriarch has merited children who are not even of his loins because his promised Offspring (the Christ) has done something similar to what he had done on that day of tithing. He sowed a seed that has become a tree of life till this day, forever immortalizing this selfless father and giving him selfless spiritual offspring from the Offspring who would do as He has done. As for Jacob, in a sense He must have realized that tithing in gratitude would be the secret to coming into success. I can’t be too certain but all I can say is that this swindler needed a transformation for his promises to be kept. By turning swindler Jacob into Israel (Heb. Wrestled with Angel/God) and ensuring that the law of tithing is being established in his generations, God had ensured that his vows may be kept all the days of his life. I believe at this point that God has ensured the establishment of this laws this so He can continue to bless the generations of Israel through tithing. Who can say for sure?

Like I said these are my shallow interpretations of these above the Law tithers. I would take a few more pages to introduce you to the tithers of the law and their alter ego who were law breakers. I wouldn’t be answering my questions about Melchizedek because there are mysteries so deep I am afraid my answers can only be confirmed in Heaven when I behold the Eternal Life… I’m star struck! Melchizedek’s role is indeed worth contemplating for him to be entitled to a tithe at the very foundation of God’s people. I believe this priest was indeed a great father with a great name because in ancient Israel, it was customary for Priests to be fathers themselves before being fathers at the altar of YHWH. Who he is would indeed be beautiful to understand because his order (office) must have been the only existing family institution that guaranteed the Sons of God, who were above the law, knew how to worship God in spirit and truth. Shalom!

 

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The Store House— The Laws of Tithing

Hello Lovely Family. Let’s continue with the third post in the series of #Tithing. Now Dig in. This has been a very interesting and revealing post and continues to enlighten the mind.

 

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How Israel did it

I’ll love to share a little background knowledge to give us a brief understanding of the scenery of our discussion. The Ancient Israelites were predominantly farmers who tilled the ground and reared animals. Some mastered other skills from neighboring countries like Egypt and Syria but their products mainly came from animals and grains. Example include meat, flour, textile, mints and of course wine; properly fermented wine that messed up Patriarchs like Noah and Judah so badly and still messed up many more in their generations before our Lord, the Messiah, did us the honor of turning some into His blood. Lol! If you still doubt that God instructed His people to drink you’re in for a shocker. But then I’m not here to debate the alcoholicity of wine in scriptures. Another major thing of note is their obsession with the number 7 which is similar to the Jewish word for “Covenant”. For them everything Godly revolves around the Covenant God YHWH. They observed a 7-year calendar in which the 7th year is the sabbath year and the entire land would experience a sabbath year rest. Everything is hallowed and consecrated to God that year. There’s so much juicy history and I can’t even share enough of it. Wow! Moving on!

In scriptures, I observed three types of tithing. I have given these 3 tithes my very own summarized name, however they have their Hebrew names, the details of which I would spare you but you could look it up on Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia you want to:

The first is the feast tithe (Deut. 14:22-27), which is a yearly tithe in which the People were ordered to bring these one tenth at the end of the year to an appointed place God chose (usually the place of worship) and make a feast in which family members consumed it. God made special exemptions in which he advised that if the ceremonial location was afar off, they could convert their tithes into cash and take the cash to the owambe venue where they would purchase any food and wine including other fermented drinks (feel free at this point to assume beer or Jack Daniels because the bible was really clear about varieties of alcohol in this place), to make their celebration into a reality. Note that I am yet to mention Priests or Levites. Also note that for the Old Covenant, worship went hand in hand with feasting. There would be sessions of prayers and benedictions (blessings) before a period of consummation (feasting/eating). This pattern of ancient liturgy remains the same and has been improved in New Covenant Liturgy.

The second I have called the third-year tithe (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12-5) which is usually done in the third and sixth Jewish calendar year. This is not for family feasting but it has been exclusively designated to Levites, orphans, less fortunate, foreigners, the poor etc. This is where the Sons of Levi get their inheritance from the 12 tribes of Israel since they have no allocation except this entitlement. One special thing of note is that the sons of Levi were expected to pay a tithe of it to the High Priest Aaron and those of his lineage who were priests (cf. Num 18).

The SACRIFICIAL TITHE (Lev 27:32-33): at last, I can finally say this is the tithe that goes directly to God. It is a tithe of EVERY TENTH ANIMAL in the count. All the animals counted, regardless of their condition, were slaughtered and offered up as a tithe offering on an altar. Picture a shepherd with thousands of flocks at the end of the year counting all his flock and every tenth sheep/goat/cattle that walks out is taken to be butchered and completely destroyed by incineration so the smoke can rise to the heavens where God will receive it in all its sweet savor. This takes a lot of discipline.

Apart from the tithes there were several offerings that lawfully went straight to the priests, together with the tithes of tithes. These were much more than the one-tenth and they were mandatory. These were the major laws of tithing and they were observed to the letter. No excuses! Israel was not a nation to take these laws lightly. Or were they now? As we go further, we would see into their future to get more insight on how they implemented these precepts of the law and the curses that follow for breaking those laws.

 

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