29 11 2011

Tithe, Offering, First Fruits

Nehemiah 12: 43-47 describes three types of collections dedicated to the Lord: The offering, the first fruits and the tithe.

  1. Beginning with the “first fruits”, we see that this consisted of a tenth portion of what one raised, i.e., crops, cattle, or poultry
  2. The tithe, which means tenth-part, consisted of the first ten percent of your salary, wages or other monetary income. Gross or net? Let’s not ‘nickel and dime’ Almighty God; let your heart counsel with Him on this matter. However, I believe it to be what you actually receive into your hand to use as you choose and not what Caesar (aka: the Government) attached.
  3. The offering is what is given in addition to the previous collections. It is a “free will offering” above and beyond what has already been given. The amount of which is dictated by the individual’s cheerful heart. The offering keeps the building maintained.

There are lots of details Nehemiah read to the people all day long in chapter 13 probably from the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. However, our lesson today asks: “Who Gets the Tithe, first fruits and the offering?” Nehemiah 12:44-47 tells us it is divided among those who “work” in the House of God: The singers, the ushers (porters), the priests, the Levites; dedicated workers who serve the Lord by serving the people of God in the House of God.

These same workers are in the Christian Church today. That would consist of the choir; the ushers/greeters; the praise and worship team; the musicians; nursery workers; Elders/Deacons/Administrators; the maintenance and cleaning people; those who are ordained: Bible Teachers; Gospel Preachers/Evangelists; Youth Minister; and the Senior Pastor. Titles may change according to denomination and doctrine, but the work is pretty much the same everywhere.

The above is an outline of those dedicated to “work” in the House of the Lord. God set things in order that no one would struggle, are left thankless, do without or be inhibited in their ability to serve Him with a glad heart. With the exception of those ordained in fulltime ministry or on salary to the church; the distribution was probably not done every Sabbath, but during the course of the year at various times of celebration. The portion was set for the workers to be encouraged in their labor and service to the Lord and the people. Be a blessing and serve; be blessed and give. Email: Lighthouseministries@gmail.com to arrange your giving today.




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