“then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, … there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD.” (Deut 12:11)
God is omnipresent – He is everywhere; but He has revealed that there are duly dedicated places where He chooses to stand and wait for those who honor Him to come and
worship as a congregation with their gifts of different kinds, and there He will fill them with joy. Others may see this as a contradiction and think you can worship God anywhere and the place does not matter, but sincere believers should also take the principle of the
physical altar seriously. The different kinds of giving in the House of the Lord come to us from as far back as prophet Moses who enacted these by God’s instruction (Deut 12:6,11):
Burnt offerings were free will offerings that God’s people brought whenever they came to worship. These were brought for no special reason apart from just worshipping the Lord with one’s wealth. We follow this example when we bring such a free will offering to any worship service or meeting. On the other hand, Sacrifices included all other distinct burnt offerings made for a reason such as atonement of sin or reconciliation with a neighbor. Today, the greatest sacrifice has already been offered to bring us redemption and peace; Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners, so that by faith we might receive forgiveness and be reconciled to God. We therefore no longer bring sacrifices as it was in the Old
Testament, but instead we offer thanksgiving freely for the salvation brought to us by our Lord.
Tithes were and still are a clear portion from one’s increase – specifically one tenth. This mathematically clear portion instills discipline in God’s people to always remember the Lord as the source of all increase, profit and all types of wealth. A similarly clear order was that of First fruits in which a portion of the first harvest or first born among the livestock were brought and offered to the Lord as recognition of His blessing in productivity
and increase. And finally, it was expected that some people would make vows or pledges for one reason or another, and the Vow Offering was expected to be brought in its time. It is good to make a pledge, but the discipline of honoring the same is demanded by the chief
witness – the Lord himself.
The above ordinances are ours to exploit today and receive the blessings and joy that come from the God when we worship Him with the material possessions He has given us.