Grace, The Law & Tithing VI
We’ve spent a lot more time on this topic of Grace, The Law & Tithing than I had originally anticipated but I believe it has been good and useful. In review this week we went a little deeper concerning some topics previously covered. We also addressed some questions which arose from past material. Such as…
- If the priestly family received a tithe of the tithe in addition to all the meat and bread portions which were allotted to them from the sacrifices – didn’t a lot go to waste? What did they do with all of that extra food?
Though the scriptures are not completely exhaustive enough to tell us what they did with the extra from tithes, we know that the extra from offerings had specific rules addressing this issue. Lev. 7:13-18 offers one such example:
“Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering. And from it he shall offer one cake from each offering as a heave offering to the LORD. It shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering. ‘The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering is a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offers his sacrifice; but on the next day the remainder of it also may be eaten; the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering is eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, nor shall it be imputed to him; it shall be an abomination to him who offers it, and the person who eats of it shall bear guilt.” ~ Lev. 7:13-18
- Did the Levites give to the poor so that the extra he had could be given to them?
I did a few simple word searches to identify an answer to this question, but came up empty handed so I will give an educated guess. It is at least possible that the Levites and the priests “may” have given some of the left overs of the tithe to the poor – such as vegetables or maybe even certain grains. As those who are in covenant with God they were obliged to aid the poor unless unable to do so by some moral law. That being said, I do not know IF they were ALLOWED to give to the poor which may be why it does not seem to be mentioned. You see, everything given to the Levites and the Priest were holy and therefore not able to be given to the common man. It is possible however, that after a number of days, these “holy” offerings may be been designated as too unclean for priestly use and so long as it was still safe to eat it “may” have been given to the poor, but this seems unlikely.
The Levites and the Priests as well as many of their allotments represented (by way of types and shadows) some very specific and holy aspects of the New Covenant even representations of the person of Christ. Those offerings representing Christ could not be allowed to be consumed by the common man nor could they be allowed to spoil. This would represent Christ’s body seeing decay, which would have been a rather severe sin. Much like the rock in the wilderness from which the Israelites drank represented Christ, so when Moses stuck the rock the second time, it was accounted to him as a very severe sin. This second striking of a the rock (Who is Christ) was tantamount to crucifying Christ twice. So, though it is perhaps possible with some of the tithe (like grain or vegetables) it is still quite unlikely that anything once dedicated to the Levites and the Priest could be used otherwise.
- Wasn’t the year that the children of Israel reclaimed all they lost and all lands returned to their originally allotted owners on the 49th year – the Sabbath of Sabbaths or Jubilee?
The answer is yes. Lev. 25:1-13
We also addressed the differences between “ministers and ministers” as per I Tim 5 – those who are elders and those elders who labor hard in the Word.
In closing, we drew a clear line between Paul’s statement in I Cor. 9 of the Corinthians being
- “our work in the Lord”
- and those whom he (and other ministers) would have to “give an account for men’s souls” and “labor in vain or joy”
- That teachers would receive a “stricter judgement
and compared these obligatory burdens of the New Covenant minister to the Old Testament Priests who were to bear the sins of the congregation before the Lord and therefore “earning the wage of tithe”.
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to study the scriptures for yourself and ultimately to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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