In Leviticus 18, God commanded Israel to set aside one tenth of all they had to be offered to Him. When Israel began to inherit the promised land, God designated different geographical locations for each tribe. The tribe of Levi, however, was not given their own land and therefore had no way to provide for themselves. Instead, they were set apart to be ministers and servants of God for the other tribes.
Leviticus 18:21-24 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting. From now on the Israelites must not go near the tent of meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord.”
Christians are not under the same arrangement as the Israelites and therefore not obligated to tithe. The Christian standard for service to God includes ‘offerings’ of money, time, talents – our all. Anything we have that could be used in the service of God, his work and his people is part of our offering.
The Biblical example of setting aside one tenth for direct service to God is a commendable starting point. It is a helpful guideline and reminder that Christians serve God and Christ in all aspects of their lives. Our service is voluntary and from the heart. Romans 11: 33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and his paths beyond tracing out…Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things.To him be the glory forever! Amen.”