When a man consecrates by a vow certain persons to the Lord, according to your valuation … then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. (Leviticus 27:2-3)
The book of Leviticus ends as it began –- with a list of regulations concerning the Sanctuary. Specifically, this last section of Leviticus addresses voluntary contributions that were given for the upkeep of the Tabernacle. That they are mentioned here is interesting because it suggests that, while voluntary vows and offerings are commendable, they don’t replace what truly God requires — that is, an obedient heart. To make the point, consider this exchange between Samuel and Saul:
“Samuel said: ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
No one should ever think that contributions, whether money, time or skill, replace active and heart-induced obedience. Our giving is good and commendable but it does not atone for disobedience. The only thing that atones for sin is belief in the blood of Messiah and His resurrection. Then when our hearts have been changed, our giving is acceptable and, furthermore, recorded in Heaven. Consider the man Cornelius; his good deeds and alms giving came up before God as a memorial (Acts 10).
So the point is today, if we are going to give God anything it should be, first and foremost, our hearts. That is, in fact, the greatest of all commands — to love God with all of our being but especially our hearts. When our heart is tender toward Him, then our minds will be renewed. When our minds are renewed, our actions will reflect what’s really in our heart. That is when giving our time and treasure really means something; because He knows its coming from our heart and not just our head.
Blessings and Shalom,