To kick off the year, we’re spending three days looking at the question Why Tithe? in light of Deuteronomy 26. Yesterday we made three false starts that we thought we could find in the text:
- We give so that God will make us rich – which flies in the face of Jesus’ call to give up material possessions, take up our cross, and follow him… not to mention the experience of millions of faithful believers around the world who live in poverty.
- We give because God needs our money – which, despite cash-strapped churches struggling to support gospel workers and social programmes, is quite silly in light of the fact that God created the world and has access to far more resources than we could even imagine.
- We give to please God – which is heading in the right direction, but neglects the fact that we can’t please God by our works any more than Christ has already pleased the Father on our behalf.
But these three popular misunderstandings of why we tithe are all missing something. They’re missing the reason for tithing God gave Israel back at the start of the chapter – which we ignored yesterday, because we weren’t reading in context. Let’s see if we can pick up that reason, starting from verse 1: