Adoration Connected to Donation

Hovering over some verses in Deuteronomy this morning which put a bit of a different lens on how we might think about our giving to the Lord.

“Each year you are to set aside a tenth of all the produce grown in your fields. 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 the Lord your God at the place where He chooses to have His name dwell, so that you will always learn to fear the Lord your God. . . . You are to feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice with your family.

(Deuteronomy 14:22-23, 26b CSB)

When’s the last time I heard a sermon on “Tithing — A Way to Learn to Fear the Lord your God”? Never. How about “Tithing — A Way to Rejoice with Your Family”? Uh, not that one either.

Hmm . . .

Not enough time this morning to rethink or restate a theology of giving a tenth to the Lord, but for some reason (a Holy Spirit reason?), this passage popped and has given me something to noodle on.

They were not only to take a tenth into the presence of the Lord, they were to eat of it in the presence of the Lord. The didn’t just drop it off at the door, didn’t just mail in a check, didn’t just sign up for auto-payment, but they were to do something that consciously connected themselves to giving back to the Lord a portion of that which the Lord had first given to them.

Tithing was to be helpful in learning to fear the Lord. Perhaps not evoking “reverential awe” as much as a regular responsive appreciation. Not only a reminder of their dependence on the Lord for what was harvested, but also igniting a delight in the Lord for the abundance they enjoyed. Their giving being less an obligation for what they had received at God’s hand, and more of a celebration at God’s faithfulness and goodness. Their tithe was to be anything but “out of sight, out of mind” as it was to again bring in view, and bring to mind the abundant provision of God.

Their tithe was to be an impetus for a family affair — to feast in the presence of the Lord and to rejoice with their family. Far from a reluctant parting of a tenth off the top, it was to be an excuse for a party. The whole family partaking in giving to God a portion of what He had first given to them. Dad, mom, brother and sister, all together acknowledging the goodness of God in the giving of their wealth.

Like I said, hmm . . .

How connected am I to my giving?

How can I ensure that every time I drop that envelope in the plate, or have that automatic withdrawal taken from my account, that it in some way brings me into the presence of the Lord, continuing to learn to fear Him as I continue to learn to love Him, even as I rejoice with my family in Him?

Seems to me I may be wasting an opportunity to grow in adoration if I’m not mindful of, nor connected to my donation.

Something to chew, I think.

By His grace. For His glory.

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