I believe that in the New Covenant, all Christians–our life, stuff, time, everything–correspond to the Old Testament tithe. That is, we are the “firstfruits” (James 1:18) given to the Lord, just as the tithe was the firstfruits given to the Lord in the Old Testament. Similarly, we are the Lord’s portion/remnant within the entire world (Matt. 22:14).
For more on this, see:
With that said, it’s interesting to see what all the tithe was meant for in the Old Testament.
For instance, the tithe (which was a tenth of the firstfruits of what was harvested) was used for:
- giving to the poor and needy (Deut. 14:28-29)
- giving to ministers of the Lord (the Levites) (Deut. 14:27)
And in the New Testament, the church regularly gave to the poor and needy (1 Tim. 5:16) and supported the ministers of the gospel (1 Tim. 5:17-18).
But we also read that the tithe was used for:
- feasting in honor of the Lord: “to buy whatever you like…anything you wish,” (Deut. 14:26)
What a precious command! It reminds me of God’s command to “rejoice”. This is an amazing honor that God says part of our giving to Him is celebrating in feasts with each other.
That seems to correspond to the “love feasts” (Jude 1) they had in the Bible, and the importance held up for sharing meals together as a church (1 Cor. 5).
God is not a stingy miser with what He gives. Yes, He wants us to help the poor and needy. He also wants his kingdom to grow by having feasts with each other. May we give it all to the Lord, since it’s all been His all along!