Giving generously

Numbers 18.1-32

This note was originally published on Wednesday 9 February 2022.

‘Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings … is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord.’


How do you decide what you spend your money on? How we spend reveals our priorities – where does giving to the church fit into that? Is it ‘one charity among many’, or something more?


Numbers 18.1-32


Remember Korah? He got stuck on the all-too-human concerns of status and power. He forgot three important principles of leadership in God’s family: it is limited (v 3), it is a gift not a right (v 7), and it is an act of service (v 7). Is that how you see leadership within the church? Or are you closer to Korah’s attitude, seeing leadership as something prestigious, to be grasped at?

Read verse 8 again. To whom were the Israelites’ tithes given (also in vs 9,12–15,19)? Seven times it repeats: the tithes and sacrifices were given to God. He then offered them to the priests and Levites as a gift (eg v 11); this was a ‘covenant of salt’ (v 19) – solid, firm, unbreakable.

Without any inheritance (v 20) the priests needed the tithes to survive. That means tithing is at once both practical and spiritual: for God’s people, giving is first an act of spiritual sacrifice, and second a practical way of supporting and enabling those who serve God’s family.


Giving is first to God (even if the church collects the cash and uses it to pay its bills!). Does that change how you see your money? Giving is more than money – but includes it. How generous are you? How generous could you be?