the terrible tithe
Deuteronomy 14:22-26 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 14:22 “Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields.
Deuteronomy 14:23 You are to eat a tenth of your grain, new wine, and fresh oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, in the presence of Yahveh your God at the place where he chooses to have his name dwell, so that you will always learn to fear Yahveh your God.
Deuteronomy 14:24 But if the distance is too great for you to carry it, since the place where Yahveh your God chooses to place his name is too far away from you and since Yahveh your God has empowered you,
Deuteronomy 14:25 then exchange it for silver, take the silver in your hand, and go to the place Yahveh your God chooses.
Deuteronomy 14:26 You may spend the silver on anything you want: cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, or anything your throat desires. You are to feast there in the presence of Yahveh your God and enjoy it with your family.
the terrible tithe
There is nothing terrible about this tithe regulation. God is only requiring that his people enjoy themselves in his presence, and setting up a way for them to do that annually.
This tithe was intended to be a reminder of how good God has been to the Israelite. With a tenth of all he has produced in his fields and among his flocks and herds, and with his family all around him, he is to feast and be thankful. If the distance makes it too hard for him to carry it all, provision is made for him to sell his tithe and repurchase the feast in Jerusalem. And when he gets there, he’s the richest that he has been all year, and so is everyone else.
I don’t think the weekly tithe is required of Christians under the new covenant, but I personally recommend it. If I can share a tenth of my weekly income to share with the rest of God’s people in my home church, it is a testimony to God’s faithfulness to me, and it can be used to bring others to him. That’s not a terrible tithe either.
Lord, thank you for your faithfulness.