SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON ( AUGUST 15,2021 )

( THE TITHE )

I’d like to take one verse here and show something that many never consider.

( Hebrews 7: 5 )

AND VERILY THEY THAT ARE OF THE SONS OF LEVI, WHO RECEIVE THE OFFICE OF THE PRIESTHOOD, HAVE A COMMANDMENT TO TAKE TITHES OF THE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THE LAW, THAT IS, OF THEIR BRETHREN, THOUGH THEY COME OUT OF THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM.

We’re still looking into Melchisedec and, in this case how Abraham paid tithes unto him. So, what is the point that the Apostle Paul is making? If you will notice in this verse that he is pointing out that ( by law ) the sons of Levi were to take a tenth by commandment. That is what we can read in the Levitical law.

( Numbers 18:21-26 )

And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. ( 22 ) Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come high the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. ( 23 ) But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statue for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. ( 24 ) But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. ( 25 ) And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, ( 26 ) Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LOrd, even a tenth part of the tithe.

Now: ( Leviticus 27:32 )

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord;

I show you this to make a point. This tithe was not given of the people, it was taken under law. One tenth of all that Israel had shall we say was to be give to the Levites for their services. At that, then one tenth was to be offered as an heave offering to the Lord. This was commanded. It was nothing freewill about it. So can we assume that the tribe of Levi was ten times richer than any other of the tribes of Israel? And, they were given that for their services for Israel unto the Lord.

Now, what if we compare that to what Abraham did to Melchisedec? Can you see that there was no law that forced Abraham to give Melchisedec anything? Abraham gave out of the willingness of his heart, seeing the blessings he received. Can you also see that what Abraham gave Melchisedec had nothing to do with the livlihood of Melchisedec? Melchisedec had no need of what Abraham offered. In that sense; it was more about ( a willing heart ) rather than ( a need ).

As we move foward to when Moses gave the law,it was all about need wasn’t it? The tribe of Levi had no inheritance. They depended on the rest of Israel for their wellbeing, their livlihood. With that being said, the question becomes whether the people of Israel could recognize the blessings they received from God or, whether they gave what they gave because they were commanded to.

Let’s see if we can build a spiritual picture here. Had Abraham ever met Melchisedec before this day? We see that this man had no ( beginning of day ) or ( end of life ). What if he was actually no man at all? Abraham, being a servant of God sought to destroy anything that was not of God. God blessed this mindset and, Abraham reverenced that blessing with his tithes, willingly knowing that he was not worthy of the victory or of the blessings. When we see that ( Abraham was returning from the slaughter of the kings ) what can we see? Can you see that Abraham was willing to sacrifice himself for something greater than he, himself, by faith in the God he believed in?

This is what the Apostle Paul was seeking to get the Hebrew believers to understand. The willingness to give has nothing to do with seeking to receive a blessing or, what the law might say. It has to do with a belief by faith in something far greater than any law or man! Look at the story in:

( Luke 21:1-4 )

And he looked up, and saw rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. ( 2 ) And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. ( 3 ) And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: ( 4 ) for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offers of God: but she of her penery hath cast in all the living that she had.

Do you see the pharse ( all the living that she had )? The poor widow was liken unto Abraham. It wasn’t the money that God was concerned about was it or, how much. It was ( all her living ) he was looking for. If you go to your lacal Church, the Church you are a member of and give your tithe; thinking that God is being blessed by what you give then you are greatly deceived. God doesn’t desire your money, he desires ( all your living ). This is what many cannot see by faith. Your obedience to the law is not what pleases God. It’s your willingness to die to yourself, to sacrifice yourself for the cause of Christ.

Even though the Hebrew believers were born again they had to learn that ( keeping the law ) ( being obedient to the law ) was not what God was looking for. God was looking for them to be willing to ( die to themselves ) like Abraham. Now, I want you to notice something. This whole time I’ve been calling Abram, Abraham. Are we speaking of the same person or, what would be the difference? Notice also that Abram had a son born unto he and Hagar; his wife’s handmaid. When this event took place ( Genesis 16:1-11 ) God had already promised Abram he would be the seed of a great nation. He was married to Sara, his wife. ( Genesis 12:1-5 ).

Abram was a man ( in his flesh ) that believed God. With that being said; just how much does he trust God? Abram was just like we are the first ( born again ). Although we have trusted God by faith, we still have a lot of spiritual maturing to to. In other words, when Abram began his journey in ( Genesis 12 ) it was a journry to spiritual maturity. Look at:

( Genesis 15:6 )

And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Abram, believed God. This was long before the law was given to Moses. Just like each of us, we grow spiritually all of our lives. Abram could not see all that God had in store for him howeveer, as he grew he would learn and mature. When we assume that ( just because we tithe or, have spiritual blessings we are ( mature in Christ ) we are deceived, greatly. We can see that as we watch abram’s life unfold.

Do you realize that ( Abram and Hagar ) had a son named ( Ishmael )? We see that both Abram and Sara ( doubted ) what God was able to do. That’s the only reason ( Ishmael ) was born. But, was that what God had promised Abram in ( Genesis 12 )? No, it wasn’t! Each of us, even after we are born again do many unwise and foolish things. We, as we spiritually mature in Christ slowly leave these foolish things behind, that is, if we spiritually mature. Abram did!

We see in scripture that Abram desired for Ishmael to be that ( promised )child.In:

( Genesis 17:1-4 )

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. ( 2 ) And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. ( 3 ) And Abram fell to his face: and God talked to him, saying, ( 4 ) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. ( 5 ) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Now, let’s move down to:

( verses 15-16 )

And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. ( 16 ) ) And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her:

Again, look at this verse:

( verse 19 )

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Now, look at this verse

( 18 )

And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

Abramham cou;ld not believe Sarah could have a child in her old age, therefore he want God to let ( the son of his flesh ) be blessed.

However, it’s never our flesh and the things of our flesh that pleases God. What God promises, he will deliver. We might think we can ( Obey the law, tithe and so on ) to pleas God but it’s the spiritual aspects of our lives that we must understand that God has promised to bless, never our flesh! We might be able to build great things in our flesh but,it’s only what we can spiritually accomplish that will matter to God in the end.

Without realizing it, Ishmael would become a nation, we call them Gentiles today. They are blessed because of Jesus Christ, the seed of Isaac and salvation so full and free!

As we mature in Christ we become people that God can depend on far beyond tithing. We see that in Abram. We also become ( someone else ) other than who we are in our flesh. When we think that tithing is the maturity level God is pleased with than we never get to where God is looking for us to reach in our spiritual walk.

That also goes with seeking to keep the law. When we assume we can tithe and seek to keep the law and, that makes us ( pleasing to God ) we are far from what God expects. This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to get the Hebrew believers to understand.

When we meet the Holy Spirit as in ( a salvation experience ); that’s like Abram meeting Melchisedec and offering tithes to him. As we walk through our spiritual lives, we grow and we slowly become another person, not that we physically die but we spiritually allow ourselves to be changed into all that God expects us to be. We sacrifice ourselves, all for his glory!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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