Deuteronomy 14 has Moses instructing the people about a couple areas – what they eat and what they do with their tithe. But he begins by reminding them of this truth: “You are the sons of the Lord your God”. It was true for God’s people then, and it is true for us as Christ Followers today. We are sons and daughters of the King. We have a place in His Kingdom like no one else. And that is something we need to celebrate and remember each and every day. God chose us to be His. We are children of the Creator as Christ Followers.
Moses goes on to give instruction about the animals the people were to eat. Paul sort of threw all that out with his teaching in the New Testament. But we need to remember that “you are a people holy to the Lord your God” and our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and what we eat does matter. We need to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies as the precious gift they are. It isn’t just what we eat, but how we allow food to take control of our lives that also matters.
Then the conversation shifts to a topic many run from – money. “You shall tithe….that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always”. Tithing is not talked about as optional for God’s people. It is the expectation. It is the requirement. And there is a big reason for it – so we learn to fear and trust God. Far too often we become self-sufficient and believe we are making life happen on our own. We hang on to our money like it is ours and that we have earned it and own it. The reality is that all we have is God’s and we are merely stewards He has entrusted it to. Tithing helps us remember that as we return a portion of what He has entrusted to us.
Moses goes on to remind us that “you shall not neglect the Levite” which would be like our pastors and priests today. The Levites where those who took care of the ministry and they had no property or inheritance of their own in the Promised Land. So the rest of the people were responsible to meet their needs. We need to care for those that minister today too. Moses wraps up this chapter reminding the people that there is a very good reason for tithing God’s way: “that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do”. God desires and requires our obedience. Money is one of those areas that many of us struggle with, but it is a critical part of walking well with Christ!