Q. If we are no longer under the Law, why should I still tithe?
A. There are perhaps three major reasons why people don’t tithe. First, they may be selfish; they’re not concerned with ancient Theology, and consider God’s claim ridiculous. Second, some are fearful that their stretched finances couldn’t carry the load, and are afraid to take drastic steps of faith. Third, most haven’t been taught God’s principles of giving and are ignorant of how He operates. This is why they may have little desire for God’s work or in co-operating with and supporting Him.
Tithing originated long before the Mosaic Law. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek whom he recognised as King of Righteousness and King of Peace, which Heb 7:2, New Testament, interprets as a picture and representative of Christ. This was 430 years before Moses! Jacob, 270 years before the Law, Gen 28:2, tithed to God at Bethel in terms of his promise. Levi, a forefather of Moses, Num 26:58-59, while yet in Abraham’s loins, Heb 7:9-10, also tithed to Melchizedek, representing Jesus. Tithing precedes Moses’ Law, which clearly submits to Jesus.
In ancient times, a conqueror would give a tithe to one he acknowledged as his superior or king. This is borne in the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek in Gen 14:17-19 and prefigures our practice of bringing our tithes to the Lord Jesus at the Breaking of Bread. Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, typical of the Body and Blood of Jesus, and Abraham responded by giving him “tithes of all” as an act of love, faith, homage, reverence and subordination. Our tithing shows the same to Jesus. And just as Abraham wasn’t tithing under the Law, neither should our tithing be an act of law but rather one of grace as we recognise Him as our King and Great High Priest.
Abraham established tithing as an essential part of faith; therefore all Israel was expected to tithe, Heb 7:5.
Since we are partakers of God’s Nature, 2 Pet 1:4, it follows that we, too, will develop a heart of generosity like unto His heart. To resist this divine urge to give, or tithe, is surely to resist God’s nature developing in us.
Tithing is indeed for today. Jesus confirms tithing in Matt 23:23, Ye pay tithes – theseought ye to have done … as does Heb 7:1-10 where, in v8, we note that it is Jesus Who receives our tithes, not the Elders, or the Assembly or yet the whole Fellowship.
What is Tithing?
- It is honouring God with your firstfruits, Prov 3:9-10 and should be the priority item on your monthly budget.
- It is God’s way of financing His Kingdom on earth.
- It is a method by which God brings us into blessing through the principle “Give and it shall be given unto you” – Lk 6:38
- It is not a Law but a Grace; it enlarges the Grace of God in our hearts – 2 Cor 9:8
- It is a symbol of Jesus’ total possession of all that I am and possess.
- It is ashock demise to the natural way, Me only, and a kick start to the spiritual way, Jesus only.
- In touching our livelihood in a significant way it demonstrates how seriously we intend honouring God and opens the door to learning total submission to Jesus; total obedience, total love, total devotion.
- It also kick starts living by faith; since we have given, we don’t depend on our income but on God, giving Him the opportunity to support us fully.
Some people wonder if there is any personal benefit to be derived from tithing. Yes there is, as with every other step we take with God. But don’t be snared into tithing for personal gain, which is folly. God had greater trouble withCain’s attitude than with his offering. Don’t give if your heart is not right with God; He doesn’t want it. Get your heart right first.
Acts 20:35 teaches, simply, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. A close look at Mal 3:10-12, which deals with tithing, reveals that, when we tithe, we receive:
- Meat in my House Spiritual nourishment
- Storehouse Training in God, literally equipping from the armoury
- No room to contain it Excessive blessing, more than enough from Heaven’sopen windows
- Devourer rebuked Divine protection from Satan’s ploys
2 Chron 31:10 says, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the House of the Lord we have had enough to eat and have left plenty; for the Lord hath blessed His people; and that which is left is this great store.
How Should I Tithe? Here are some common sense guidelines:
- Bring your tithes to God, Mal 3:10, as an act of worship and of joy. God loves a cheerful (literally, hilarious) giver, 2 Cor 9:7.
- Remember our tithe is given to the Lord Jesus, Heb 7:10.
- The tithe belongs to God, not to us; it is holy unto the Lord, Lev 27:3. If you withhold your tithe, you’re robbing God, Mal 3:8. Tithing is not optional.
- Bring your tithe to the storehouse, the fellowship where God has placed you, Mal 3:10. It’s not God’s plan that you should get your spiritual food at one place and tithe into another fellowship or movement; that’s like having a meal at Mike’s Kitchens and paying at the Wimpy Bar!
Finally, a great man of God of yesteryear said, It’s not a matter of how much of my money I give to God, but how much of God’s money I keep for myself.