The book of Deuteronomy is largely a re-telling of the law to the new generation of the Lord’s people who were about to end their wilderness journey and enter into Canaan, the Promised Land. Of all those who left Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter into this land. We read the words of the Lord in Numbers 14:30-31, “Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.” Before entering into this land and enjoying the Lord’s blessings in it, it was necessary that they knew the law and were obedient to it.

Now let’s read Deuteronomy 14:22-27, “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household, And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.”

The tithe mentioned here is different from the first tithe we read about in Leviticus 27:30-33. That tithe was exclusively for the Lord and was not eaten by the offerer. This tithe has been referred to the ‘festival tithe’, part of which was eaten by the offerer. We learn that the Lord would appoint a place where He chose to put His name, a place where He would receive worship; a place where tithes were to be brought. If the place was too far to carry the tithe of corn, wine, oil, or animals, the offerer was allowed to sell the material and buy items for tithing at the appointed place.

When the people came before the Lord to eat before Him in the place where He had placed His Name, they acknowledged, in His presence, all His goodness and mercies and they rejoiced in the Lord. What a tremendous and joyous scene that must have been. To be in the presence of the Lord, to rejoice and enjoy His blessings in the presence of others who were also greatly blessed by the Lord. Is there anything like that today? Is there a place where we can go with other believers to enjoy and rejoice in the blessings of the Lord? There is such a place, and it is not far from any of us. The Lord tells us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” There’s that precious place! When we are gathered simply in the name of the Lord Jesus, He has promised His presence among us. May we find our joy in gathering in the Lord’s name alone. May we learn to enjoy His presence and His blessings in fellowship with like-minded believers. (161.4)