Tuesday, February 28, 2017
For those who may not know, tithing is giving a tenth of your income. Christian denominations and people of the Jewish faith have many different teachings on tithing. For our purposes, I will not go into that area. I will focus instead on why we should tithe and what God’s Word says about tithing.
As you will see, most of the teaching on tithing comes from the Old Testament. But this does not mean that tithing was one of the laws we no longer needed after Jesus came. Not much is said about it in the New Testament because it was one of those laws that was just part of the Jewish culture.
I think God also wants us to give to the poor and to support those who help others or work for justice in the world. I believe that if everyone in the world gave part of their income to the poor, it would alleviate a good portion of all hunger and poverty.
“Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:18-20.
This Scripture is one of those that teaches that we should financially support those who minister to us in our churches—priests, ministers, pastors, elders. Another is Matthew 10: 9-10 where Jesus sends the apostles out to minister:
“Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts; no traveling bag, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking staff. The workman after all, is worth his keep.”
The law of tithing was introduced in the Old Testament as part of the law of Moses. In the Old Testament, the people gave their tithe for the support of the Temple and the priests that ministered there.
Leviticus 27:30 says: “All tithes of the land, whether in grain from the fields or in fruit from the trees, belong to the Lord, as sacred to him.” This means that the first 10% of our income is not ours; it belongs to God.
Some people decide to give more than 10% of their income. Others can easily afford to give more than ten percent. The Bible says: “The willingness to give should accord with one’s means, not go beyond them. The relief of others ought not to impoverish you; there should be a certain equality.” 2 Corinthians 8:12. This is a very important passage because God does not want us to become poor or needy by giving to others. But I have learned, through listening to the stories of many people, that even if you have a very small income, if you tithe 10% of that, the Lord will provide for your needs.
God wants us to give not only because it’s His Law, but out of compassion for others. Yet God blesses us in return. In Luke 6:38-38 Jesus says: “Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you.”
Proverbs 3:9-10 says: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with first fruits of all your produce: then will your barns be filled with grain, with new wine your vats will overflow.”
In Malachi 3: 8-10 God scolds the Israelites for not tithing fully: “Dare a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me! And you say, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings! You are indeed accursed, for you, the whole nation, rob me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me in this, says the Lord of hosts: Shall I not open for you the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessing upon you without measure?”
In Isaiah 58: 10-11 God says: “If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.”
My husband and I have been tithing for many years. During that time, I have seen these Scriptures of God’s blessing on those who tithe fulfilled many, many times. The blessings are sometimes financial, but often material or in other ways.
So I encourage you, if you do not already tithe, to “try the Lord” as they say, and see if He does not bless you as well.