May 22, 2022 – Deuteronomy 26
Lesson Date: May 22, 2022
Focal Scripture Passage: Deuteronomy 26:1-15
AIM: To lead students to discover several biblical principles of tithing, and to compare their giving to those principles and commit to following them in the future.
Before class: Read the notes on Deuteronomy 26 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Have enough “Principles of Tithing” handouts for your anticipated attendance.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students to imagine that as they walk into the Worship Center this morning, they notice someone dropping an offering envelope into one of the offering receptacles. Rather than just dropping in the envelope and walking on, however, this person stops, raises their hands toward heaven, and says the following in a loud voice:
Lord Jesus, this morning I am bringing the first of my income to my local church. I thank you that you have made me part of your family and are preparing an eternal home for me. Lord, I remember that once I was lost and held captive to sin, but you rescued me through the blood of Jesus. You have given me everything I have, and I rejoice in your bountiful provision. The tithe belongs to you, Lord, so I have not held back any of it. Having obediently given my tithe, I come now to worship you and ask for your blessings.
Ask: “What would you think if you saw and heard such a thing?” (they might think the person was a nut, or a fanatic, or a showoff).
Tell the students that most people don’t say anything when they give their tithes to the church, but if we could read their minds, some of them might be thinking something like this:
I wish I didn’t have to give so much money to the church. I could sure use that money. And as if ten percent isn’t enough, the pastor keeps talking about giving to the building fund! If I didn’t have to give all this money to the church, I could afford a new vehicle or a nice vacation. My neighbor has a new truck; but then, he’s not a Christian, so he doesn’t have to give all his money to the church.
Tell the class that how we give our tithes and offerings reveals a lot about our attitude toward the Lord. Even if we don’t say anything verbally, our giving sends a message. The title of today’s lesson from Deuteronomy 26 is The Talking Tithe.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (guidelines for family relationships).
- Remind the students that the Israelites were about to cross the Jordan River to enter and possess the Promised Land.
- Just as they needed to know about godly family relationships, they needed to know how to handle the financial gain they would receive as landowners and farmers.
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:1-2.
- God, through Moses, was giving the Israelites guidelines for life in their new land.
- Ask: “According to verse 2, what were they told to bring to the Lord?” (the first fruits of all their new land produced).
- Write the words, “Principles of Tithing” as a heading across the top of the marker board or chalkboard.
- Ask: “What principle can we learn from this?” (that the tithe ought to be the first thing to come out of our paycheck).
- Write “Tithing is Your First Financial Obligation” on the board.
- Explain the following:
- The tithe is the first tenth of our income, which God commanded us to give.
- Offerings are anything we want to give above and beyond the tithe.
- We should tithe on our gross income, not our take-home pay.
- Ask: “Where were the Israelites to bring their tithe?” (to God’s sanctuary).
- Tell the students the second principle is, “Your Tithe Goes to Your Local Church.” Write this on the board.
- Stress the fact that our tithe is not to go to any other Christian ministry, secular charity, or individual.
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:3-4.
- Remind the students that in Old Testament Judaism, tithes were taken to the priests.
- Ask: “What were they required to say to the priest?” (that they were living in the land God gave them).
- Summarize: God commands His people to give the first ten percent of their income to their local church.
- Tell the class that verses 5-10 describe things the Israelites were to say when they brought their tithes to God’s sanctuary.
- Read Deuteronomy 26:5-6.
- Ask: “What does verse 5 say about their ancestors?” (they were foreigners who were close to starvation, they went to Egypt for food, they were few in number, but God multiplied them greatly in Egypt).
- Ask: “What does verse 6 say about how the Egyptians treated them?” (they treated them badly and enslaved them).
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:7-8.
- Ask: “What did God do for the Israelites?” (He heard their cries, saw their affliction, and brought them out of Egypt through miraculous signs and wonders).
- Tell the class the next principle of tithing is, “Remember that God Rescued You from Sin.” Write this on the board.
- Explain that we tithe not just because it is commanded, but out of gratitude for God rescuing us from our sin; our giving is a testimony to God’s saving grace.
- Read Deuteronomy 26:9-10.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, what else were they to say?” (God has brought us into this bountiful land).
- Ask: “How does that statement relate to us?” (God has given us everything we have).
- Tell the class the next principle of tithing is, “Remember that God Gave You Everything You Have.” Write this on the board.
- Ask: “According to verse 10, what could they do after they gave their tithes?” (worship).
- Tell the class the next principle of tithing is, “Tithing is a Prerequisite to Worship.” Write this on the board.
- Tell the students we cannot truly worship if we are robbing God of His tithes.
- Summarize: We should remember that God has rescued us from sin and given us everything we have, and that tithing is a prerequisite for genuine worship.
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:11.
- Ask: “What could the Israelites do after they had obediently given their tithes?” (rejoice in all the good things God had given them).
- Tell the class the next principle of tithing is, “Rejoice in Every Good Thing God has Given You.” Write this on the board.
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:12.
- Explain the following:
- Every third year the Israelites were to store up their tithes in their own cities.
- These resources were to be used to support Levites (who did not own property), widows, orphans, and strangers.
- They were to tithe every year, but the third year’s tithe was set aside to support those who couldn’t support themselves.
- Read Deuteronomy 26:13-14.
- Ask: “What were they to say when they brought that tithe in the third year?” (I’ve brought the hallowed things for the support of the Levites and those who cannot support themselves; I’ve not kept any of it for myself; I’ve done exactly as you commanded).
- Explain that the word hallowed means sacred, set apart, and dedicated to God.
- Tell the class three principles are found in these verses:
- The Tithe is Sacred and Set Apart for God
- We Cannot Keep any of God’s Tithes for Ourselves
- Tithing is a Matter of Obedience
- Write these principles on the board.
- Tell the students that many people today do not obey God in the matter of tithing. They keep that which is to be sacred and set apart for God to spend on themselves.
- Summarize: We must remember that the tithe is the Lord’s, set apart for Him and Him alone, and that tithing is simply a matter of obeying God.
- Tell the students there was one more thing the Israelites were to say after giving their tithes.
- Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 26:15.
- Ask: “What could they say after giving their tithes?” (they could ask God to look down upon them and bless them).
- Tell the class the last principle of tithing is, “After Giving the Tithe You can Ask for God’s Blessings.” Write this on the board.
- Tell the class many people today ask for God’s blessings without first giving their tithes to Him; they are robbing God while asking Him to bless them!
- Summarize: After obediently giving their tithes, God’s people can ask for His blessings.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Give everyone a copy of the “Principles of Tithing” handout. Ask them to compare their giving to these principles as you read each one aloud.
Remind the students that we are not in a good position to worship God or ask for His blessings if we are not obediently giving the first of our increase to Him through our local church.
Ask: “What is your giving saying about your faith in God? Is your tithing testifying of God’s goodness and provision upon your life?”
Read Malachi 3:8-10. Stress the fact that tithing is commanded; in fact, the Bible says if we are not tithing, we are robbing God!
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask them to examine themselves and their tithing. Say: “If you are falling short in any of the things we have discussed today, please confess that as sin and make a commitment right now to follow God’s principles of tithing.” Allow a few moments for silent prayer, and then voice a closing prayer of gratitude for God’s blessings and commitment to obey His commands.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Malachi 3:10. Tell them to express their love, gratitude, and commitment to God when they give their tithes to the Lord.
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