“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the LORD” (Leviticus 27:30)
God has created the earth and “the fullness thereof”, including plants and trees. Therefore, He is the owner, not us. This is the background of today’s text, where the Lord claims one tenth of the seed of the land and of the fruit of the trees as “holy to the Lord”. It should be given to the priests and the Levites, who were God’s special servants.
These ‘tithes’ were a reminder that everything the Israelites possessed and everything the land yielded, was a gift from the Lord. The just gave back one tenth of what they had received from Him.
This was a specific commandment for the Israelites, not for Christians worldwide. But as with all God’s commands, the underlying truth remains the same: our possessions and our income ultimately are not ours, but the Lord’s. Therefore, it is natural to give something back to God — not grudgingly, but with joy. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
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