God had some specific requirements for His people when they went to inherit their promised land. They were commanded to completely destroy Jericho and everything in it (with the exception of Rahab and her family) and to consecrate any confiscated gold, silver, and vessels of iron and brass to the Lord. One soldier disobeyed, choosing to keep garments and silver for himself, and the subsequent punishment was severe for the entire nation. They lost their next battle. The nation had to purge itself of this disobedient man, his family, and his possessions, then God gave Israel another chance to defeat the enemy. This time, God encouraged them to keep the spoils of war for themselves. In Jericho, God alone brought down the walls. He alone struck fear in the people’s hearts. It was He who stepped out first for His people in great demonstration that He was the All-powerful God and that He had chosen Israel as His own. Jericho was His battle; He deserved the glory and the spoils of war. Because He is God, His portion should always be first, whether it’s tithe or time or priorities in life. He deserves this because of who He is; however, this portion comes from what He has already blessed us to have. For example, we can tithe because God has given us financial provision. We can devote time to the work of God because we have the life and health to do so. We are able to put God in FIRST place because our lives are filled with purpose and many other things to do and to enjoy. What we return as God’s portion is but a small offering of what is already His. In addition, He blesses us in even greater measure because we give this small token to Him.
Tip/Tidbit: Are there areas of your life where God is not first? Make Him #1 today. Try one of the following: Give Him the first 10% of your income, spend the first 15 minutes of your day with Him, or choose a God-activity (like church or spiritual fellowship) over a personal activity (like sports or work). You’ll soon see added blessing in your life!