I want to take a moment to talk (some more) about giving versus tithing. Tithing is a matter of the law and, as such, is not applicable to the New Testament saint. Cheerful, willful giving, on the other hand, is a universal, Biblical principle that bridges both Old and New Covenants. For your edification, I humbly submit evidence from Exodus, Chapters 35 and 36:
4 And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, 5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass,
Note here, that the COMMAND was to Moses to SPEAK this to the people. God made the offering OPTIONAL to the people (whosoever is of a willing heart). If this were a command to the people, God would not have qualified it. Now, in the interest of time and space, let’s mosey on down to verse 20…
20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’ s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. 22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats ‘hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them. 24 Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the Lord ‘s offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.
Now here, the text shows us the entire congregation departed from the presence of Moses, but only those who were stirred up by the Word of the Lord and those of a willing spirit brought an offering!
25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. 26 And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ hair. 27 And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate; 28 And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
30 And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; 32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. 34 And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
In the above passages, the people not only brought an offering, but they gave of their talents to produce the holy artifacts and implements for the furnishing of the Tabernacle. Let’s proceed to chapter 36…
1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded. 2 And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: 3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. 4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
Here, the workmen continued to receive offerings from the people daily for the construction and furnishing of the Tabernacle. But here’s where it gets really interesting…
5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. 6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. 7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Did you catch that? When the people were permitted to give out of the abundance of their heart, Moses had to STOP THE PEOPLE FROM GIVING because THEY GAVE TOO MUCH! Every time the rule is giving from the heart, the giving will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over (Luke 6:38). Understand, too, that this was giving UNDER THE LAW. How much more prolific shall giving be when grace is prevalent! As abundant as this was, it was but a foreshadowing of grace giving!
And that’s good news!
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)