Scripture: 2 Chronicles 31:2 Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, division by division, everyone according to his service, the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and offerings of well-being, to minister in the gates of the camp of the Lord and to give thanks and praise…4 He commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to the law of the Lord. 5 As soon as the word spread, the people of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything. 6 The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of the dedicated things that had been consecrated to the Lord their God, and laid them in heaps. 7 In the third month they began to pile up the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and his people Israel. 9 Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites about the heaps. 10 The chief priest Azariah, who was of the house of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty to spare; for the Lord has blessed his people, so that we have this great supply left over.”
Observation: Here King Hezekiah restored the practices of the temple, commanding the priests and Levites to minister in the temple as was their ancestral calling. However, this meant the priests and Levites could no longer earn a living elsewhere. To provide for them and their families, Hezekiah restored the practice of the tithe in which all the other peoples gave 1/10 of their produce. In so doing, not only did the priests and Levites have more than enough to feed their families, the people giving their tithes prospered as well. This is the economy of God at work via generosity.
Application: This is such a simple lesson, but one we tend to resist. When we give 10% of our income to the Lord, we always have enough left over to care for our needs. Not necessarily our “wants”, but our “needs”. Not only that, the resources given provide for the function of the temple/church as well as those in need both near and far.
I’ll admit that for years I resisted tithing because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough left over for me and my family. It just didn’t make sense to me. If things were tight while giving little, how could things get better by giving more? You don’t have to be a financial genius to see the problem here. More money leaving our home meant less money available for the family. Yet, as we began giving a full 10% (with fear and trepidation at first) we found that God was indeed faithful. Did we have to make some sacrifice in order to grow our giving? Sure. But the things given up were wants, not needs. In the end, the promises of God proved to be true. Since we began giving the full tithe years ago we have always had all we needed – and more. And let me tell you – it’s awesome to not have to stress out about money.
There is always enough.
I’m guessing this blog post challenges some of you. If the thought of tithing your income to the Lord seems a bit scary, that makes you pretty normal. But the promises of God realized in our passage for today are true for you as well. When we trust the Lord with our tithe, the Lord provides for us. Always. Give it a try and see what happens.
Prayer: Lord give us grace to trust you with a tithe of our income, for with you there is always enough. Amen.