The love language of giving is based on the Principle of First. When you give, you’re putting that person first in your life.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.” Exodus 13:1-2
The firstborn belongs to God; it is His property.
“It is mine,” is emphatic in the Hebrew language. It means that the firstborn belongs to God; it is His property.
Yes, you may be thinking to yourself that this is only relevant to the Old Testament. But let us look now at how this still applies to us today.
As we have seen many times before, everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus! Here are three basic principles in regards to giving our “firsts” to God.
1. The firstborn must be sacrificed or redeemed.
...that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. Exodus 13:12-13
God gives two animals as examples of “unclean” (donkey) and “clean” (lamb). If a clean animal has a firstborn,the rule is to sacrifice it, but if an unclean animal has a firstborn, it is to be redeemed with the sacrifice of a clean animal.
Remember now, that everything points to Jesus. When we were born on the earth, we were born into sin –unclean. If you doubt this, think about children: do they need to be taught to do wrong or taught to do good? On the other hand, Jesus was born spotless, pure, holy, without sin – clean. The clean had to be sacrificed so that the unclean could be redeemed.
God instructs us to give the first one and the rest will be redeemed. Why does He require the first one? It doesn’t take much faith to pay all your bills and then give what’s leftover. But it takes faith to tithe first and then pay your bills. God wants to be first and He wants to see our faith in action.
Tithing is the only time in the Bible where God says to test Him and see if He doesn’t open up the windows of heaven. (Malachi 3:10)
2. The firstfruits must be offered.
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. Exodus 23:19
We bring our firstfruits rather than giving them because we can’t give what does not belong to us. God says the firstfruits belong to Him.
And in the process of time, it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the first born of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. Genesis 4:3-5
Why did God accept Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s? God “couldn’t” accept Cain’s because it wasn’t first. Cain gave what he wanted when he wanted. (Do we ever do this?) God has told us how to give, by returning the first 10%. He cannot accept second place because He is pre-eminent. He is higher than and above all.
We should put God first in our lives. If He’s not first in your life, you didn’t move His order – He’s still first in the universe! If you want to speak God’s love language, you put Him first.
3. The tithe must be first.
The word “tithe” comes from the Hebrew meaning “tenth.” This is God’s property, holy and set aside for Him.
If you get paid, the tithe should be the first money to leave your hand, even before money is set aside for the mortgage, food, gas, tuition, etc. God doesn’t want to receive leftovers; He wants our hearts, our devotion, and the first of what we have. This is beyond the law or being legalistic. This principle was in effect way before the law was ever introduced to God's people. Giving is God’s love language, which is why he gave his own son.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
He wants His children to be givers as well.
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30
So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ Exodus 13:14-15