In the law of Israel, the first of the people’s increase (firstfruits), including crops, animals and male children, belonged to the Lord.
1. The priests, who are Levites--indeed the whole tribe of Levi--are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the Lord by fire, for that is their inheritance. You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep. Deuteronomy 18:1,4
2. Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God. Exodus 23:19; 34:26
3. When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. ... You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. Leviticus 23:10b,14a
4. Place the basket (of firstfruits of the soil) before the Lord your God and bow down before him. And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:10b-11
5. Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day. Exodus 22:29-30
6. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
7. Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal. Exodus 13:2
8. The first offspring of every womb, both man and animal, that is offered to the Lord is yours (Aaron). But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. Numbers 18:15
9. The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons. Exodus 34:19-20
The city of Jericho was the first city captured in the Promised Land of Canaan and it was to be totally given to the Lord as a firstfruit offering.
10. The city (Jericho) and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent, but keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury. Joshua 6:17-19
Whenever you see the words devoted to the Lord or devoted to destruction that thing is irrevocably given to the Lord, usually by total destruction.
In addition to the firstfruits, a tithe or tenth of the crops and animals belonged to the Lord.
11. A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord, it is holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30
12. The entire tithe of the herd and flock--every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod--will be holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:32
13. When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. Deuteronomy 26:12
14. And he (Melchizedek) blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:19-20
Notice that Abraham (Abram) paid tithes 400 years before Moses and the law.
15. Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, how do we rob you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord Almighty and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit says the Lord Almighty. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:8-12
Jesus says that the Pharisees should pay tithes on their garden herbs.
16. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. Matthew 23:23 (Luke 11:42)
God wants us to prosper, but we must have our priorities in order.
17. For the pagans run after all these things (food and clothing), and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:32-33
Now we are not under the law, but we should still give what seems best to us. The Bible clearly states that to have financial blessings, we must be generous. The law of sowing and reaping applies to finances also.
18. A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9
19. One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25
20. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
21. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. II Corinthians 9:7
22. He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. Proverbs 28:27
23. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor. Psalm 112:9 II Corinthians 9:9
If we are generous, we can expect God to supply all our needs.
24. For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:16,18-19
25. You may say to yourself: “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18
26. The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble (sorrow) to it. Proverbs 10:22
Abraham was blessed and he was a very wealthy man. We are to have that same blessing.
27. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. Genesis 13:2
28. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3:13-14
Prayer: Father, I thank You for supplying all of my needs. Help me to guard my tongue and not speak words of poverty that will cancel the blessing that is mine because of my giving. I ask for Your wisdom concerning how I should spend what You have provided, and how I should allocate my tithes, offerings and firstfruits. Thank You so much for Your many blessings. In Jesus' name. Amen.