The Law, as well as grace, made provision for the less fortunate and those who didn't have the ability to earn income. In the Old Testament, God's commands to His people were: "And you shall not glean your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather its fallen grapes; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am the Lord your God." [Leviticus 19:10, AMP] (Similarly, "When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow." [Deuteronomy 24:21, AMP]). Elohim, lived up to His title of Jehovah-Jireh, not only by providing water, manna and quail, but by instilling in Israel the mind to care for those who had less than they did--whether Israelite or stranger. God was so concerned that no one slip through the cracks that He gave the command regarding gleaning, just to ensure that their was provision, even beyond the tithe.
The tithe was established in Israel to care for certain classes of people: "When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;
Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them." [Deuteronomy 26:12,13]. In addition, God says: "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto." [Deuteronomy 15:7-10]. The real blessing is in giving--not simply to one chosen class of people, but to everyone who has need.
Who is the stranger, if not the immigrant who comes to our country seeking asylum from war, poverty, and famine? Who is the widow, if not the elderly and disabled who struggle to live daily, dependent upon the mercy of our government system, especially since the church has not done its part--in gleaning or the tithe? And the same goes for the fatherless; who are they, if not the millions of children and their single moms who wonder everyday how they will make it through the week?
Jesus, came and added grace to these God-given principles, not by saying give less--or don't give ten percent (particularly since, Jesus lived under the Law, and grace had not yet been realized). He added grace in saying: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." [Luke 6:38] (Jesus said this right after the Pharisees came accusing the disciples of "gleaning" in the fields, on the Sabbath). Jesus also said, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." [Matthew 25:31-46]. How we give (or not) will determine where we spend eternity.
How much should we give? "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."
And, the apostles understood what Jesus meant--and what He taught them from the Law. And, this is how they lived it: "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."
They made provision for everyone--those who served in ministry, and those they served, as well as any who came among them with a need--not a wish, a whim, a fancy or a desire, but a need.
It was no longer about the tenth, but the ALL.
We must remove the roadblocks and things within our hearts that keep us from giving lavishly, as much as we are able to give--according as "he purposeth in his heart", since that is the storehouse of our treasure. Giving must be a heart thing, not by coercion, or even command; just purity of heart. To have a heart like God is to provide for the well-being and welfare of others...just like God.