Spirit & Life Devotional
Saturday, 27 August 2016
Supporting The Needy
“At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.” Deuteronomy 14:28-29 NKJV
God instituted the tithe in the Old Testament to support those who had nothing, so that they wouldn’t lack. The Levites and priests had no inheritance, so the Levites got the tithes, and then gave the priests a tenth of the tithes they received (the heave offering). The strangers also had no land in Israel, so they too had to be supported with the tithes so that they wouldn’t die of starvation. The fatherless and widows too were supported with the tithes because it was the man’s responsibility to care for them, and since there was no man in their lives, they were supported with the tithes.
After the formation of the early church in the New Testament, we read that everyone of them sold all that they had and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet. It wasn’t compulsory, but it’s what many of them did, and the purpose was to ensure that none of them lacked. So from giving a tithe in the Old Testament, the earliest Christians gave 100%! The purpose being the same, to support the weak.
As the church stabilized and expanded to other regions, the believers were not made to give all that they had. But they were still instructed to support the needy and the weak generously and cheerfully, not grudgingly, from what God had blessed them with, as they had purposed in their hearts.
You see, child of God, God wants us to support the weak and needy among us. The reward for that was “that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.” Psalm 41:1-3 says, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.” Amen.
Chinaemerem Joshua Ibezim