Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Second Command to Give LESS than 10%

We've been talking about verses that command the Israelites to give less than 10%. The first example was Leviticus 27:30-33. Here is the second example:

2) The Spoils of War Contribution in Numbers 31:27-28

In Numbers 31:27-28, the Law declares what percentage of the spoils of war should be set aside as a tribute for the Lord. Your expectation might be that the Lord would require 10% of the spoils. However, the number is much less than 10%. It is 1 out of every 500! Yes, 0.2% was required.

I attempt to ascertain the underlying theological principles in the specific laws in the Mosaic Covenant in order to find the eternal concept that can be applied to today. The best I could do for this verse was that unusual sources of income would be the concept underlying "spoils of war". IF that is correct, does that mean that I can give less than 10% when I have an unusual source of income?

My main point from these last three posts is this: the amount required by God of the Israelites in the Mosaic Law was NOT "10% of income". What was it? It is so complicated and varied that no number could be entirely accurate, when you consider the multiple tithes, the offerings, gleanings, freewill offerings, spoils of war tributes, and, especially, the animal tithe. The best someone could do is give an estimate, and even that would be FAR from certain.

I don't believe the Old Testament unlocks the principles that should drive Christian giving. There are MANY principles explained in Scripture, but giving a mandated 10% is not one of them.

1 comment:

Charles Dicken said...

I agree with you about the Old Testament tithe be too complicated to calculate. I also believe the tithe, as it is taught today, is a complicated one also. It is taught that we pay it from our increase. But can we actually calculate our increase. I am increased daily and it is not always monetary. A brother in the Lord comes over and works on my car and doesn't charge me, should I tithe on his value? I clip a coupon from the paper for an item in the store. Do I pay a tithe on that? Pastors want to make it simple but in reality it is not.