I find it interesting, though, that the one aspect of the Sinai covenant still taught by congregations today is tithing; the giving of ten percent of your income to your local church body. Believers are often surprised to learn that this is not taught anywhere in the New Testament.
Under the Mosaic covenant, the main purpose of tithing was to support the priesthood. Numbers 18:21 said, - “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
The priests and Levites had no inheritance of land for farming. They needed to be freed up to concentrate on their service at the holy temple. (Side note: if you add up and estimate all the required tithes and sacrifices that were required under the Moses Covenant for various holy days and special offerings, it was more like 22 percent).
- Don’t murder, but you are just as guilty if you hate your brother.
- Don’t commit adultery, but you are guilty even if you harbor lust in your heart.
In Matthew 6:19-25 Yeshua tells us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The middle part of this passage, referring to good and bad eyes, seems out of place. But when you understand that it is referring to a Jewish idiom (a good eye means a generous eye, bad eye means a selfish eye), the passage suddenly makes much more sense.
The account of the rich young ruler is told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke: He asks Yeshua, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He’d kept the letter of the law all his life. Yeshua replied, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. Yeshua knew that this man's heart was given over to his money.
Mark and Luke record the story of the widow's mite: Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Both accounts underline what Matthew 5 tells us; that where your heart is, there will your treasure be.
(May I just insert here an exhortation to the wealthy American church? We are approaching the holiday called Thanksgiving, where we spend the day being thankful for all that we have. Then the next day, we celebrate "Black Friday" and get a whole bunch more stuff. Just sayin'... Traditions die hard, but really, aren't we supposed to avoid being conformed to this world? Can I get an amen here? Hello? Anyone? Cricket, cricket...)
2. To the Jewish believers in
Below are listed several Biblical reasons to support Jewish missions:
In Matthew 10:9-10, Jesus is sending out the twelve to the house of Israel: “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul speaks further of financially supporting gospel workers. "If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
2 Corinthians 9 really seems to capture the essence of giving: But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Put another way, you simply cannot outgive God!