SUPPORT GOD’S MINISTERS
Date: August 14
"And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. You shall also give to the priest the first of your coarse meal and bread dough, that a blessing may rest on your house."
We can see here that when God cares for people, He cares for everybody. That includes the ministers of His Word. The ministers of God need to be supported in order for them to do the work that God has called them to do. For that reason, God has instituted a commandment that we must all follow. The first part of this verse says, "And the first of all the first fruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests." The first fruit means the first portion, which is the first 10% of every increase. Anything on top of that would be the offering. Both the tithe and the offering belong to God. So the Israelites had to give those things to God.
But what were those first fruits used for? Well the first purpose of that money was to support the priest. The priest ate from that portion. Then the second purpose of that money was to provide for the temple of God and the works of the Lord. Just like any of the other Israelites, the priest needed to earn an income. So he ate from the tithes and offerings that came into the temple. He needed to be fed, in order to complete all his duties. If the people didn't tithe, then the priest wouldn't be provided for. If the priest weren't provided for, then he would have to go and do secular work in order to earn a living. If that happened, then he wouldn't have the time to do the work of the Lord. If he didn't work for the Lord, then God's Kingdom would not grow. So it was very important that the Israelites gave their tithes and offerings.
The same is true today. The preachers of the Gospel today need to be provided for as well. The Lord has designed that the first fruit of all our increase had to support the ministers of God. But there's more to it than that. The second part of this verse says, "You shall also give to the priest the first of your coarse meal and bread dough, that a blessing may rest on your house." So when we give our tithes and offerings, we are supporting God's servants and we're supporting the propagation of the Gospel, but along with that, we are also enabling the blessing of God to rest upon our house. This is a promise from God! When we provide for the workers of the Gospel, then God will provide for us.
We read a similar passage in the New Testament. In Galatians 6:6 we read, "Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support]." So in the same way the Old Testament people had to give their tithes and offerings to support the priest, we too have to give our tithes and offerings to support the preachers. When we support those who have taught us, we are enabling them to continue teaching us and even continue teaching other people from the Word as well. That's why giving is so important. If the people of God aren't supporting the ministers of the Gospel, then they cannot carry on in their work.
We read in Acts 6:4, "But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word." The job of a minister is two-fold. He is to pray for himself and for people and he is to preach the Word. That's the job of a minister. Those things take time. In order for a person to pursue that job effectively, he needs time. Sometimes it requires time away from secular work so he can devote himself to the study of the Word of God. When he does that, then he can receive from the Lord and when he receives from the Lord, we can receive from him. But that can't happen if we don't support him. So let's determine in our hearts to give God our tithes and offerings and allow God's ministers to be supported. Only then will the work of God continue without interruption.