The book of Deuteronomy is filled with instructions for how God’s people are to live. Last year I attended one of Beth Moore’s Bible studies down in Houston (as in, the ones where she is up front leading and they are taping it for the video sessions that all of us Christian ladies know and love). It was the beginning of a study on the book of Deuteronomy. I don’t recall much from it, but I do remember talking about God bringing His people out of Egypt to bring them in to the promised land. And in Deuteronomy the whole of God’s law is repeated, a reminder of the relationship that God has established with His chosen people. In chapter 26 is one of the discussions of tithing, describing how the first fruits should be gathered and brought to the Lord and placed before Him, with instructions for worship. And then in verse 11:
Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
That’s what this whole business of tithing is really all about. We give to God as a thanksgiving for all we have been given, and we rejoice. Remember that connection between giving thanks and rejoicing? It’s here, too. Tithing is a physical act of thanksgiving, a tangible reminder of our gratitude to God.
I have a couple of friends who are pretty diligent with their tithing. Whenever a windfall comes into their lives, they give 10% of it, automatically. Sometimes they give to the church, sometimes to another ministry. But they always give. And here’s what I’ve noticed: these friends seem to end up with more windfalls and opportunities to give. Perhaps God blesses them because they are faithful with it. Perhaps they also search for more opportunities to give. Only God truly knows, but I think it’s amazing to see Him at work in their lives.