Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields provide each year…… Deuteronomy 14:22. Do not give me riches or poverty…………for if riches I may disown you…. Proverbs 30-7

Today, that which is provided to us and what we do about it consumes a tremendous amount of our time and our church’s time.  A church can see its very survival in the amounts given especially when those amounts are far less than 10%.  And the people feel that they are barely making it by needing every scrap to make their ends meet.  Plus what they have comes from titanic daily struggles.  God is the God of all creation, surely he needs nothing from us.

Yet to me, there seems to be some inherent promises in God’s commandment about giving ten percent.  First He expressly says where the 10% is supposed to come from.  It comes from the production of your land.  In this day and time it would come from the outcome of your vocation.  So first and foremost it appears that there is a promise that your land is going to produce.  God’s plan would seem to indicate that He is going to provide.  Do remember that this edict was first given after the Israelites had left Egypt and were heading for the “promised land”; the land “flowing with milk and honey”.  God then as is the case now plans to bless His people. 

So if it is His and His gift in the first place why does He need a tenth of it back?  It is not in His need to receive but in our need to give.  Part of the divine mystery is our ability to disregard God.  To completely live our lives as if He did not matter and that we are masters of our own domain and the builders of our own good fortune.  Sadly that type of living is not only seemingly increasing in our society and thus our penchant to give glory to self made people and those who have seemingly made it on their own without help.  Yet that mindset leads to a life devoid of the ever so needful recognition of where it is that our livelihood comes from in the first place.  Whether we acknowledge it or not, God has seen fit to GIVE to us the abilities and circumstances that allow us to make a living in this world.  Those who choose not to see that feel that they are the sole reason that they have been successful and thus their success and whatever outcomes there are from it belong completely to them.

We need to bring the 10% to acknowledge to God that there is an additional 90% which is ours to keep and to in a broad sense do as we see fit.  God several times goes further to say that even though He is already promising an additional 90% beyond what is being returned to Him; by keeping this commandment He promises even more blessings to come by virtue of that faith.

So there is a danger in our keeping the entire 100%.  We now become not only the rightful owners of all the 100% but lose site of any acknowledgement that there was any other hand involved in our getting the 100% in the first place.  The worst part of the that path is then we can come to believe that, there is no reason to go to God with our thanks or our requests.  God knows what we need, not only materially but most important spiritually.  He knows that our only chance at true life and love is to connect with Him in all things.  Only then can all things work to our favor within His Name. 

Therefore, know that a 100% is coming and is in His plan.  It is not that He asks for the 10th back in as much as He asks for our recognition of His providing the 100%, a more than sufficient amount, in that we are faithfully, willing and indeed joyous to acknowledge Him in that 10% that we return.  All Honor and Glory be to God Almighty.

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