35 ‘We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree.36 ‘As it is also written in the Law, we will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there.37 ‘Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. 38 A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 39 The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the musicians are also kept.“NIV

‘We will not neglect the house of our God.’

‘There is no truer test of a man’s spirituality than his attitude to his possessions.’

Jesus taught: ‘’It is more blessed to give than to receive’’ (Acts 20:35).

As we read the Bible, we will find that there is a lot of teaching there about ‘stuff’ about material possessions, money and giving. If we have open hearts, we will start to form convictions about how and what we should give. For myself, I have come to believe that, as someone put it, the tithe (ten per cent) should be ‘the floor’ and not ‘the ceiling’ of Christian giving.

As these people came under the sound of God’s Word (36), they recognised their need to repent of their financial/material ‘’negelct’’ of God’s House (39b), and they made a commitment to do something about this.

‘Though they paid great taxes to the kings of Persia, and had much hardship put upon them, they would not make that an excuse for not paying their tithes, but would render to God the things that were his, as well as to Caesar the things that were his.’ Matthew Henry.

To give as the Bible teaches we should, takes faith – and at sometimes more than another – but it is one of the main ways we ‘’prove’’ God’s reality for ourselves(Malachi 3:10ff), and it is ‘’more blessed’’ than getting.