Drug or Tool?
Old Testament Scriptures
– First tithe: Given to support the Levites. (Num. 18:21)
“To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting.” (Numbers 18:21)
– Second tithe: Given to celebrate goodness of God. (Deut. 14:22-26)
“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine and of your oil and the firstborn of your heard and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.” (Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
– Third tithe: Given to help the poor. (Deut. 14:28-29)
“At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce . . and the sojourner, the fatherless, the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled. that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.” (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)
First fruits generosity. (Ex. 23:19)
“The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God."
- Giving the first and best.
Harvest generosity. (Deut. 24:19)
“When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourners, the fatherless and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Dueteronomy 24:19)
- Giving honor to the poor.
Offerings generosity. (Lev. 7)
Sabbath generosity. (Ex. 20:8-10; Lev. 25)
Take Home Idea: Generosity moves money out of the drug category and into the tool category.
“Drug or Tool?” Discussion Questions
Misc. Old Testament Scriptures
If cost was not an issue and you could make one frivolous, stupid purchase, what would you buy?
Look at the Take Home idea. Explain it in your own words.
Does it surprise you that there was not just one tithe for Israelites, but three?
What do each of the three tithes go to? Why do you think there were three different kinds of tithes?
Read Proverbs 3:9. What does firstfruits mean? What was their purpose?
Read Deuteronomy 24:19. Why would God instruct Israel that if they forget a “sheaf in the field” they were not to go back and pick it? How is this type of generosity seen in the New Testament?
Read Deuteronomy 12:6,17; Numbers 15:3, Exodus 35:29. What type of offering is named in these verses?
How does this type of offering differ from the tithe or firstfruits?
Read Exodus 20:8-10. Skim Leviticus 25. What type of generosity did God set up here?
Read Luke 4:17-21. What is the year of the Lord’s favor?
What is the value of tithing today? Does tithing fit since we are no longer under the law?
Does God expect his new covenant children to give less, the same or more than his old covenant children?
What is the overall lesson we can learn from looking at the practice of generosity from the Israelites?
Close by sharing your answers and then praying together.