Nehemiah 10 - The Tithe
Nehemiah 10 1Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah, the Tirshatha, the son of Hachaliah, and Zidkijah, 2Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, 3Pashur, Amariah, Malchijah, 4Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, 5Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, 6Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, 7Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, 8Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah: these were the priests. 9And the Levites: both Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel; 10And their brethren, Shebaniah, Hodijah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11Micha, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13Hodijah, Bani, Beninu. 14The chief of the people; Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zatthu, Bani, 15Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17Ater, Hizkijah, Azzur, 18Hodijah, Hashum, Bezai, 19Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21Meshezabeel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23Hoshea, Hananiah, Hashub, 24Hallohesh, Pileha, Shobek, 25Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26And Ahijah, Hanan, Anan, 27Malluch, Harim, Baanah. 28And the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and having understanding; 29They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes; 30And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, not take their daughters for our sons: 31And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt. 32Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God; 33For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God. 34And we cast the lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, after the houses of our fathers, at times appointed year by year, to burn upon the altar of the LORD our God, as it is written in the law: 35And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD: 36Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: 37And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. 38And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. 39For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.
Today's Scripture Meaning The covenant, Those who signed it. (1-31) Their engagement to sacred rites. (32-39) Verses 1-31: Conversion is separating from the course and custom of this world, devoting ourselves to the conduct directed by the word of God. When we bind ourselves to do the commandments of God, it is to do all his commandments, and to look to him as the Lord, and our Lord. Verses 32-39: Having covenanted against the sins of which they had been guilty, they obliged themselves to observe the duties they had neglected. We must not only cease to do evil, but learn to do well. Let not any people expect the blessing of God, unless they keep up public worship. It is likely to go well with our houses, when care is taken that the work of God's house goes on well. When every one helps, and every one gives, though but little, toward a good work, the whole will come to be a large sum. We must do what we can in works of piety and charity; and whatever state we are placed in, cheerfully perform our duty to God, which will be the surest way to ease and liberty. As the ordinances of God are the appointed means of support to our souls, the believer will not grudge the expense; yet most people leave their souls to starve.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Nehemiah with Chapter 10 and we see the people agree to obey as they reestablish the tithe, bringing it to the House of God, so that there might be meat in the house to Minister to those in need. In making application we see the tithe as an act of worship for the believer. The tithe belongs to the Lord and the tithe is to be used to minister or serve others for restoration. Today some have lost the Biblical application of the tithe, both in giving and in the Church application of using the funds to Minister. The proper view is the tithe belongs to the Lord and is to be used to serve others, providing staff to serve, a building to worship, and to restore those who are in need. Not so much a hand out but a helping hand to get others to provide for their need. Meeting both spiritual needs as well as the financial needs of the congregation while reaching out to the world with the Gospel. How about you? Do you tithe to your local Church? If so, does your Church follow Biblical Guidelines in the use of these funds? Let us learn from our text today and the direction of Ezra in tithing in the House of God and using the funds for Biblical application in Ministry
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.