Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 22, 1959

The Law Of Love And Giving

Gordon Wilson, North Sacramento, California

When the ceremonial portions of the law of Moses were being set in order, the Lord made it mandatory that Israel should tithe; that is, they were required to give on tenth of all their income unto Jehovah, whether it be cattle, corn, or money. All of the tribes were to pay a heave offering of one-tenth to the tribe of Levi, who had no inheritance of their own. In turn, the Levites gave a tenth of all they received for the support of the priesthood. These provisions are recorded in Numbers chapter 18. To fail to pay the tithe, and certain other offerings, was to be guilty of robbing God. (Mal. 3:8,9.)

God bound tithing upon his people as a means of causing them to remember him, and to give him diligent service. What a person possesses is an integral part of the person himself. When Israel gave a portion of their income to the Lord, they were reminded that they must also give themselves. Tithing served the practical purpose, also, of providing adequate income for the priesthood.

Under the law of Christ no commandment to tithe has been given. We all shall agree that Christianity is an advance over Judaism. Under the law of Moses, the Jews needed tithing to teach them to give themselves to the Lord, and they needed a law to cause them to tithe. But under the gospel we have reached the point of spiritual progress where we have no need for such a law. As a matter of love we give ourselves unto the Lord. There is no force in this world stronger than the strength of love; no motive can move one more purposefully than love for the Lord. If we love him we will give ourselves up to his service. Tithing is not needed to teach us to serve God. We serve him because we love him, and once we give ourselves to him, giving of our material possessions will be done willingly.

Under the old law giving was a matter of necessity with each individual. Under the new it is different. `Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Cor. 9:7.) I ask you, Is love not a more powerful motive than necessity? If necessity caused the Jew to give a tenth, shall love cause the Christian to give less ?

It is too evident that many children of God have not learned this lesson. They are still in need of the law as a schoolmaster to teach them their responsibilities to God. May the Lord help us all to grow up in Christ, and render him due service from a heart of pure affection.