Mosaic Tithing: Part One

As Israel’s children became a nation under God, He fulfilled His promise and covenant to bless them and make them numerous and fruitful. God’s people grew and expanded in the land of Egypt, under the ruling of pharaoh until they became so numerous a new pharaoh felt threatened and began to afflict them, fulfilling what God had told Abraham. The line of Abraham and their descendants were enslaved there for many generations, until God heard the cries of the Israelites and sent Moses to free them.  Once free of Egypt they continued to multiply, exceeding Moses and Aaron’s governing abilities as just two people, even with God’s help. So the Law became the provision of God’s covenant to them as a nation. God gave instructions for His people through Moses which they are to obey fully, demonstrating his power and support. Among them there are 603,550 men in the census required by God, distinguishing the twelve tribes, each with their own duties from the Lord. These laws are to be the ultimate authority and direction of the Israelites in their lives, to govern all of their decisions, sins, atonements, offerings, and judicial rulings.

Immediately following the well-known Ten Commandments, God breaks down every detail of the laws that the Israelites must follow to live under God and with God among them in the Ark of the Covenant. In order to keep the ark holy and clean for God’s presence, he required burnt offerings be made morning and evening to him and for all the people. They had to remain clean enough to come before Him and live around Him. There are several chapters dedicated to cleanliness, whether unclean through animals eaten, bodily discharges, or coming into contact with a carcass. All of these things make them unclean to be in the presence of the Lord, because He is Holy beyond their understanding and they had tobe separate from the unclean world. There were five primary types of offerings given to the Lord and his priests to be redeemed: Burnt Offering, Grain Offering, Peace Offering, Sin Offering, and Trespass Offering. The burnt, grain, and peace offerings were given voluntarily and willingly to God to both mark the days in recognition of him to express their devotion, and to atone for unintentional sins. The Grain Offering and Peace Offering (which included the vow offering, wave offering, and heave offering) were an expression of thankfulness to the goodwill and livelihood that God provided.

The mandatory offerings to God consisted of the Sin Offering and the Trespass Offering. Any sin which went against the laws of God that compose primarily Exodus 20 through the end of Leviticus in Chapter 27, with additional laws in Numbers and Deuteronomy, must be paid for or atoned according to the specific instructions that God required therein. God’s commandments for the Israelites at this time number 613, which outline almost every part of daily life. Many of these included rituals and sacrifices made at the Tent of Meeting and led by Aaron and his sons as priests and servants of God who were clean and set aside for this duty. God gives the Levites to Aaron in Numbers 3 to assist him in the extensive duties of preparation and maintenance of the Tent of Meeting. All of these offerings which the Israelites agreed to as their half of the covenant with God were given according to his instruction and wholly separate from any tithe or monetary commitment. These were the Mosaic laws that structured their daily lives and the devotion that they gave to Him as His chosen people.

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