Deuteronomy teaches us about the law of the “firsts.” It teaches us that before we take anything for ourselves we give back to God the “first” part of our income. Deuteronomy 14:23 says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” (LB)

Max Lucado asks this question in his “Life lessons”: “In what ways does tithing teach you?” He then answers his own question. “Consider the simple act of writing a check for the offering. First you enter the date. Already you are reminded that you are a time-bound creature and every possession you have will rust or burn. Best to give it while you can. Then you enter the name of the one to whom you are giving the money. If the bank would cash it, you’d write God. But they won’t, so you write the name of the church or group that has earned your trust.

Next comes the amount. Ahh, the moment of truth. You’re more than a person with a checkbook. You’re David, placing a stone in the sling. You’re Peter, one foot on the boat, one foot on the lake. You’re a little boy in a big crowd. A picnic lunch is all the Teacher needs, but it’s all you have. What will you do? Sling the Stone? Take the Step? Give the Meal? Careful now, don’t move too quickly. You aren’t just entering an amount … you are making a confession. A confession that God owns it all anyway. And then the line in the lower left-hand corner on which you write what the check is for. Hard to know what to put. It’s for the light bills and literature. A little bit of outreach. A little bit of salary. Better yet, it’s partial payment for what the church has done to help you raise your family … keep your own priorities sorted out … tune you in to his ever-nearness. Or, perhaps, best yet, it’s for you. It’s a moment for you to clip yet another strand from the rope of earth so that when he returns you won’t be tied up.”