June 10, Reading 1 – Deuteronomy 25:1-26:15

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Verses 25:5-10 are background for the story of Ruth and the words of the Sadducees to Jesus in Matthew 23:23-32. The emphasis of the next chapter is on generosity towards God and man with the wealth in soil and material possessions that God has given them. The tithe fed the Levite, the orphan, the widow. The way the tithe was used in the early Church led to the creation of the office of deacon. Acts 6:1-7.

SJA Notes

It is very interesting to read phrases such as “When you come into the land …” and “A wandering Aramean was my father.” – Look at how they reference Jacob/Israel!

We have seen previously and it is again layered over here – That tithing and the offering of first-fruits was a very important part of living as God’s people. They were to take seriously giving back to the Lord the first of the fruit of the ground, the produce, a tithe of the blessings God gives.

And why?

Again Moses points them to Egypt, their treatment at the hands of the Egyptians, their crying out to the Lord and His response.

AND THE LORD.

The Lord brought them out of Egypt, a great rescue. The Lord redeemed them into a promised land, flowing with milk and honey.

A heart of generosity in response to this is the only reaction – And here we read about the regulations given around this.

Tithing and offering were to follow the order and command laid out.

Jesus breaks this open and deepens our understanding – In Mark 12 He says that the measure of tithing is not the amount given but the heart and attitude that gives it.

In Luke 11 Jesus confronts the Pharisees for tithing mint and rue and every herb but neglecting justice and the love of God.

And then in Luke 18 Jesus points again to the true spirit we need to have, that of the tax collector,

“God be merciful to me, a sinner!”

* Lord God,

Please remind us that we were slaves, that You rescued us and redeemed us into Your kingdom.

Please mark us as a generous people, our hearts being the measure and mark of our offerings and tithes.

Amen.

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