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CityLight Pastor Commentary:
The tithe. First fruits. Ten percent. Ugh…why does God ask us to give SO MUCH?! When you realize that everything you have in your possession rightfully belongs to Him in the first place, He is not, in fact, asking us to give that much. When we give, it should not be done with a negative attitude, but rather a thankful one. Num 28:26 describes the Feast of Weeks: “Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the Lord at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.” The Feast of Weeks marked a celebration of all God had provided for His people. Jewish farmers would tie a reed around the first fruits that ripened on their land, designating them for an offering to the Lord. On the Feast of Weeks, they would bring their first fruits to the temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God. Notice, however, that it was not called the ‘Fast’ of Weeks, but rather the ‘Feast.’ The people of Israel didn’t have to be frugal after they gave their offering, hoping to scrape by on leftovers. God wanted His people to feast – to celebrate – as they honored Him with their giving. He wanted them to give with complete thankfulness and full confidence that even after their offering, they would still have plenty left over. God created everything, and then promised us “…exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). That is something worth celebrating.
“Father, I give to You with a glad heart. I know that ten percent – the tithe – is actually the least you ever commanded us to give; one hundred percent is the model presented by Jesus Christ. Help me to give everything I have to You, and to do it freely.”