No land may be permanently bought or sold. It all belongs to me—it isn’t your land, and you only live there for a little while.
~Leviticus 25:23, CEV
I would never have tithed my first million had not I tithed my first pay check, $1.50 and that was for a weeks salary.
~John D. Rockefeller
I love the clarity and directness of the Contemporary English version. Wouldn’t you agree that the verse above is very clear. Divine ownership is the first principle of good stewardship. Moses tried to teach the hardheaded and rebellious Israelites that the land belonged to the LORD. To instill this principle into the lives of the Israelites, Moses made laws concerning property rights. Once the land was allotted to the various tribes, clans and families; it belonged to that tribe or family forever. You could buy and sell but not in the permanent sense. Every fifty years the land reverted back to the original owner. They called this 50th year the year of Jubilee [Leviticus 25:10]. The term Jubilee came from the sound of the rams horn and it became a symbol of celebration. The Israelites could lose their freedom if they did not pay their debts but every fifty years, debts were canceled, slaves were freed and the land reverted by to the original owner. Did the Israelites practice the laws that Moses instituted? The answer is no: if they had they would never have been removed from their land and scattered among the nations. The law of tithing was a part of the Mosaic law [Leviticus 27:10] and like modern day Baptist, they took this law with a grain of salt.
Would they have been better off by obeying these laws? Yes! God’s laws are not for His benefit, they are always for our benefit. His law gives order to life. Despite what the devil says, anarchy breeds misery and death. Moses warned them about what would happen if they ignored these laws and one of the laws was to let the land rest every seven years. Moses says in Leviticus 26, “If you don’t obey and let the land rest, God will take you out of the land and scatter you among the nations and He will give the land rest.” He also prophecies: “In the land of your enemies, you will not be at rest. You will be so insecure that the rustle of a leaf will frighten you.” Long story short: all that property, you think you own, actually belongs to the LORD. You may have squatter’s rights but it belongs to HIM and He will get it back. Be a good steward by acknowledging that everything belongs to God and that we are accountable for how we use His resources. The first step to acknowledging this truth is to TITHE. If you don’t tithe, you don’t believe everything is HIS. Don’t make excuses: acknowledge the truth and make the necessary changes. It is called repentance, something the Israelites refused to do.
The sunshine felt great. As I drove home from worship last night, I realized that it was the last Sunday in February. This year is moving too fast. One more Sunday and we will be back on Daylight Savings time. Schools are out today/tomorrow [according to when you read the blog] and some are celebrating and some are grieving. LORD willing and I do mean that, I will be going down to see Lance Callahan and the Decatur Heritage this morning. I also intend to go down Wednesday night to the Brewer game. Those are my plans, it doesn’t mean it will happen.
A group of persecutors were picking on Jennifer last night and I had to step in and run interference. My kids get on to me all the time for picking on Jennifer but I am going to reverse that trend and be nice. Jennifer has been a good friend to the Bailey’s and she is a great VBS Refreshment Team Leader. If I have offended her in the past with my remarks, I apologize and will do better. I think I’ll start picking on Traci. Poor old Gregg, she was on him again last night. You can tell he is an abused husband.