In the 18th chapter, God gave Moses and the people instructions on the tithe and told them, “You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you” (v. 29). Though God was speaking specifically about offering Him the best when giving the tithe, the principle certainly can be applied to every area of our lives, especially in spiritual matters.
Yet it is tragically sad of all of us that we do not give our best in everything, all the time. We seem to think that God should be satisfied with less than our best; actually He should be happy with whatever we feel like we want to offer. We seem to think that because He is loving and patient and kind, that He should wait silently in the wings while we spend ourselves on other things.
God gets the leftovers, which too often turn out to be scanty.
When the Hebrew people were wandering around in the wilderness, God knew that if left to themselves they would give Him less than their best. They would have kept the best for themselves. But God would have none of that.
It is easy enough to read the words of Numbers 18:29, but much more difficult to obey them. For the Israelites, it applied specifically to the tithe. For us, presenting the best and holiest part of our entire lives is a better way to express our gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.
After all, Jesus gave His very best when He came to this earth as a little baby, and when He surrendered to die a cruel death on the cross. Having done that for us, He deserves the very best we have to offer. Never should we be satisfied to give our Lord Jesus Christ anything less than the very best. Never should we settle for mediocrity or half-hearted commitments.
The words of Numbers 18:29 were a command God gave the Israelites. Let us never treat this imperative as a mere suggestion. When we compare ourselves to what others have done and are doing, we may feel like a royal pat on the back. But when we compare ourselves to what God has actually commanded, we see how far short of His glory we fall.
The words of Colossians 3:23 serve us well: “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people.”
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com