The word Tithe is a common term among adherents of the Christian faith, which is believeed to be the portion of one’s income that must be donated to the pastor or presiding priest of a local church. Many tithe advocates insist that you should not eat your tithe but that is exactly opposite what scriptures teaches.
Moses instructs the Israelite in Deuteronomy 14 verse 22 to eat their tithes in the place God chooses.
But before we explore that let us understand that Israel practiced theocracy and the tithing system was a form of taxation put in place for the administration by the government of Israel. It was a law.
Deuteronomy is replete with scriptures that says, “the statutes and the ordinances which you shall observe to do in the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth.”
It was a law!
Modern Christians believe we are not bound by the law.
However, isn’t it interesting, how tithing advocates insist believers must obey the law of tithing but ignore the law that says do not eat ‘Titus’ – a fish that the same Deuteronomy 14 forbids – See Deut 14:10.
Tithing discussions have become mainstream as prosperity gospel preachers continue to find new reasons why Jesus’ blood is not enough to fulfill that part of the law.
But today we dwell on one part of that discourse, a phrase popular in Christian cycles, “Don’t Eat Your Tithe”
Deuteronomy 12: 5-7, 14:22- 23 says “Every year you shall certainly tithe [a tenth] of all the yield of your seed which is produced by your field.
(Every year, not monthly)
You shall eat the tithe (tenth) of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock before the Lord your God in the place where He chooses to establish His Name (Presence), so that you may learn to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] always.
Scriptures here emphasizes how the tithe is NOT monetary.
In fact, verses 24 through 26 talks about selling the tithe and converting it to money if it’s too much to carry to the place God has chosen.
But once the Israelites arrived at the place God had chosen, they were to use the money they got from selling their tithe to buy food and drink to eat before the Lord and celebrate.
Scripture says, “Then you shall exchange your tithe for money, and take the money in your hand and go to the place [of worship] which the Lord your God chooses. You may spend the money for anything your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or [other] strong drink, or anything else you want.
“You shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”
Clearly, money was used during this time, but it was never considered to be part of the the tithe. The Israelites never paid a tithe on their money or income – they tithed on the increase they had in their crops, herds, and flocks.
Surprised? These scriptures truly conflict with modern teaching of tithing but it is scriptural.
Most tithe advocates don’t want scriptures to come in their perfected scheme of defrauding their members and often condemn those who do not pay a full 10% monthly to their church – but God commanded the Israelites to eat their tithes in His presence.
Tithing is taught as 10% of your gross (or sometimes net) income – but God commanded the Israelites to only tithe the increase of their fields (crops) and animals (herds or flocks). Israelites who did not farm or raise animals would have never paid the tithe as it is described in the Law of Moses.
Finally, if you have decided to fulfill this law, then you should fulfill all. From not shaving your side beards to not wearing denim and cotton to not eating salmon.
And it is perfectly okay to eat your tithe.
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