Servants of the Lord deserve to be supported by His people

John Wesley was one of the great evangelists of the 18th Century, born in 1703. In 1731 he began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to the poor. In the first year his income was 30 pounds and he found he could live on 28 and so gave away two. In the se … More

Giving

The principle emphasized in this passage is clear and is often given in Scripture. Those who serve the Lord and His people should be supported from the material blessings God gives to His people. An example is where Jesus said “The laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7). Paul also wrote “Even so, hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel” (I Cor. 9:14). The priests and Levites, as servants of God, deserved to be cared for by the people of God. The Lord tells Aaron that he will not receive any land in Israel as his own but he will give him whatever he needs (v. 20).  He goes on to say that since the Levites won’t be given any land in Israel as their own, they will be given the crops and newborn animals that the Israelites offerings. There were 12 different tribes that made up the nation of Israel. Eleven of these 12 tribes were given land to settle in.

Unlike the other tribes, Levi would have no inheritance in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) for the Lord was their inheritance (v. 20). Instead they were given 48 towns to live in (Num. 35:1-8) and were to work full time in the tabernacle making sure the worship of God stayed active and true in the community. Both the priests and Levites were to be cared for by means of sacrifices, offerings, and tithes. Even the Levites, who were ministers, had to tithe to support the Lord’s work (vv. 25,26). This principle is still relevant as God expects all His followers (even those in the ministry) to supply the material needs of those who devote themselves to meeting the spiritual needs of the Church.

Application

If the Jews under the Old Covenant could give 10 percent of their income (produce) to the Lord, should Christians under the New Covenant do less? If I am to grasp the meaning of II Corinthians 8:9 I need to practice “grace giving” which should go beyond the tithe.

Numbers 18:20-32 (English Standard Version)


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