It has been quite a week of reading, hasn't it? Between guiding clouds of spirit and fire, all-you-can-eat..and then some..quail buffets, leprous time-outs, earth swallowing judgements and massive plagues, one has to wonder how long these people are going to continue questioning God's promises in the midst of their personal "woe is me" discomforts? Shockingly, (spoiler alert) they aren't done yet. Yesterday, Pastor Ryan had some great thoughts about the lack of faith from the Israelites. And a few days back, Pastor Marv wrote about refinement that happens in the desert. (If you have't read these blogs, along with the others, take a few minutes. I'm loving catching up on these every week.) Both of those themes continue to be dominent in our reading today, so I won't repeat those thoughts here. But I did want to touch on the issue of tithe, which concludes today's reading.
Here we read about the tithe supporting ministry. A way to live apart from the land, supported by the people and it's offerings. Obviously, a system that still runs the engine today. I'm not going to give a history lesson on the tithe. I'm sure we'll have many more opportunities to talk about the subject in the coming months. But I do want to say this:
Renee and I have been faithful tithers since day one in our marriage. Even in our early days when we had little and were facing loads of debt. It's never been a question of "how are we going to do this," and we have never missed a single penny we have tithed. As God has blessed us with thriving businesses, we have rejoiced at the opportunity to give back more to our local church, to ministries and to faith-based causes. We understand that God continues to provide for His people so that His work will continue to be done in this ever expanding world we live in. And we know that to hold on to what He has given us--to debate its worth, and our level of sacrifice, no matter the amount--would be "highway-to-heaven" robbery. Not only personally to God, because it's what He requests of us, but to the Pastors we look to for leadership and guidance, to the ministries that are reaching our community and world, and to even our own place of worship that exists as a physical foundation to love on people, and to connect with God together.
I'm thankful for the tithe. Every single week. We are called to be joyful givers. And as we read about the massive set of laws that continue to be piled on in these early days, I'm thankful that within the context of the time we are studying, God really asks very little of us. There are few hoops that we have to jump through to get to Him. Honoring those laws that have carried over is the least we can do for the daily life He gives us. Tithe included.