Numbers 29:12-40

12 ‘Then on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work, and you shall observe a feast to the Lord for seven days. 13 You shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire as a soothing aroma to the Lord: thirteen bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old, which are without defect; 14 and their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an [e]ephah for [f]each of the thirteen bulls, two-tenths for [g]each of the two rams, 15 and a tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; 16 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.

17 ‘Then on the second day: twelve bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 18 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 19 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings.

20 ‘Then on the third day: eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 21 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 22 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

23 ‘Then on the fourth day: ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 24 their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 25 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.

26 ‘Then on the fifth day: nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 27 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 28 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

29 ‘Then on the sixth day: eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 30 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 31 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offerings.

32 ‘Then on the seventh day: seven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs one year old without defect; 33 and their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 34 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.

35 ‘On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work. 36 But you shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect; 37 their grain offering and their drink offerings for the bull, for the ram and for the lambs, by their number according to the ordinance; 38 and one male goat for a sin offering, besides the continual burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

39 ‘You shall present these to the Lord at your appointed times, besides your [h]votive offerings and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings and for your grain offerings and for your drink offerings and for your peace offerings.’” 40 [i]Moses spoke to the sons of Israel in accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

Sometimes we get so focused on the “mandatory” offerings, we lose sight of the “voluntary” offering. In our day, we would typically call the tithe a mandatory offering, even though many churches don’t actually require it, the tithe is a direct command from the Bible.

But as we talked about giving this weekend, someone said, “the tithe is the minimum, it’s the baseline.” It’s not the finish line, and it doesn’t necessarily build a spirit of generosity in us. Giving our tithe builds faithfulness for sure, but if it’s mandatory, and we want to cultivate generosity in our lives, we need to go further.

Just as these festivals had offerings that were required, but separate from voluntary offerings, so we need to build generosity into our lives, into our budget, and do more. You can always give more than a tithe once you get your focus off yourself and see God’s heart for people, letting it move you with compassion.

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