Jesus sat down near the offering box observing people as they gave their offering. The rich put in large sums, but there was one woman that caught Jesus’ eye. She was a widow and all she had to offer were two small copper coins (mites), that valued at less than one penny. The clanging of her deposit into the receptacle was heard in heaven. And Jesus told His disciples that her offering added up to more than all of the other offerings that day; (Mark 12:43).
The custom of paying a tithe was an ancient practice found among many nations of the ancient world. It extended into Hebrew history before the time of the Mosaic Law. The first documented record of tithing is found in Genesis 14:17-20. It’s the practice of giving a tenth of one’s income or property as an offering unto God. The purpose of giving a tenth was to meet the material needs of the Levites, strangers, the fatherless, and widows; (Deut. 26:12-13.)
Melchizedek the Priest
Melchizedek was King of Salem and Priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning from defeating many kings in battle, Melchizedek went out to meet him and blessed him. Abraham gave a tenth part of all the goods he had obtained in battle and gave it to Melchizadek. Even though Abraham was the most honored and favored patriarch of all God’s chosen ones, he gave a tithe of the spoils to Melchizedek.
No one could deny the fact that the one who has the power to impart a blessing is superior to the one who receives it. And furthermore, for God to send a new and different rank of priest, meant a new law would have had to be instituted even to allow it.
In the Book of Hebrews, the author tells us that the Levitical priest who descended from Abraham appeared centuries later and paid a tithe to Melchizedek through Abraham; (Hebrews 7:1-12). *Meaning the seed of Abraham.
HAVE YOU ROBBED ME?
The word of the Lord came through Malachi, asking, “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, in what way have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation. Bring all the tithe (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, and see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.” – Malachi 3:8-15 Amp. Bible
The Prophet indicated that Israel had robbed God in withholding tithes and offerings. A tithe is 10% of 100. That means 90% belongs to the tither and the remaining 10% belongs to God. Tithing is a covenant promise that comes with a blessing. God is revealing His heart regarding tithing and exposing the heart of His people. The Israelites were exhorted to bring their tithes into the storehouse to enjoy the Lord’s blessings.
Cain and Abel’s Offering (Gen. 4:1-16)
Genesis 4:1-16, tells us the biblical account of Cain and Abel’s first offering. Abel came to worship God, and by faith, he offered some of the fat portions from the firstborn of his flock; (Gen. 4:4). It pleased God and his offering was accepted; (Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4). However, Cain brought the first fruit from the ground, he devised his own way of worship and he did not come by faith. God had no respect for Cain’s offering. This did not please God and eventually, Cain grew angry and murdered his brother Abel; (Gen. 4:3, 5-16).
It is not wise to bring an unacceptable offering to God as Cain did. Your plan will never override God’s perfect will. Tithing is more about obedience than it is about provisions. God does not need our money to meet the need of His church. He who created the worlds and filled them spoke them into existence. There is nothing in all of creation that was not created by God; (Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16; Ps. 24:1).
I once heard a certain man testify that tithing in today’s churches are money motivated and intended to increase the wealth of the preacher. This man told us that he decided to take a basket filled with fruits, and vegetables to church and give it to the man of God as an offering. First of all, the Israelites were told to bring in a tithe from their full harvest because that was their bartering system in those days. However, in today’s market places, money is lawful to use in exchange for goods.
Why Should I Tithe?
Tithing is a privilege, not a command. Many Christians struggle with the principle of tithing because they cannot understand why God would need their money. The Israelites struggled when the Prophet Malachi pointed out their sin, causing them to correct themselves and abide by the command given to them. I believe that this is an example given to Christians who are supposed to support the Ministry. Supplying for the needs of those who are less fortunate is a loving act that represents Christ-like behavior. As followers of Christ, shouldn’t Christians emulate Him?
The Blessing for Obedience (Mal. 3:10)
I will open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
The Promise (Mal. 3:11-12)
- I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake.
- I will not destroy the fruit of the ground.
- Your vine in the field will not drop its grapes [before harvest].
- All nations will call you happy and blessed.
- God will provide for every need and want; (Psalm 23:1).
The Consequences for Disobedience
When someone robs God, the consequence comes by way of a curse; (Leviticus. 26:3). There are times that we can’t pay our bills. and we end up robbing Peter to pay Paul, which is a popular phrase meaning “to pay one debt while incurring another.” Oftentimes, adversity just happens that causes us to question and recalculate our dilemma, only to find out that we’ve submitted to debt.
- Seek me first, and all things will be added unto you; (Matthew 6:33).
- Give, and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over; (Luke 6:38).
- Giving unbegrudgingly is like sowing a seed. We reap what we sow; (Galatians 6:7).
- You can’t beat God giving, and you never will.
- Retroactive blessings.
- The Tithe is for YOU!
In Malachi 3:16 who was the prophet referring to? (Leave a comment at the end of the post.)
LORD, I understand that tithing is a spiritual principle, and I am guilty of not obeying it. I repent of my sins and I ask for forgiveness for my disobedience in not giving You what belongs to You. Forgive me for my rebelliousness and give me a better understanding of your spiritual laws so that I may not continue to sin against You.
My desire is to do your will, therefore, Lord. I choose to obey your teaching and sow spiritual seeds by way of tithing. I choose to believe by faith that every seed that I sow, will come back to me in abundance. I understand that the blessing of tithing is reciprocal. If I sow a seed, whether good or bad, I will reap a harvest from that seed. I also understand that tithing is not just for me but also benefits my posterity.
Father, it’s only by the shed blood of Jesus that we are able to partake of this precious promise. You are Jehovah Jirah, and You are forever faithful to provide all that we need and want (Ps. 23:1). I also understand that the more I sow, the more I reap, and I have more than enough to share with those who are less fortunate. Thank You for my harvest. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
As you walk with Jesus, may your life be filled with joy, contentment, and peace. Blessings to you!
References: Holy Bible, KJV/AMP/ TPT; Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary; Got Questions.org