This week I want to talk about tithe. WAIT! Don’t run away just yet. I know when many hear the word “tithe,” they tend to pack up their bags and run. Most, for good reason.
The representation of tithe has been greatly flawed for many people and their mind races to experiences of being conned for money, being tricked into guilt ridden payments, or experience of a church who did not seek the Lord in using funds and then begged the congregation to save the “building” from the backlash of overspending.
Give me ten minutes of your time and I think I can help ease your mind and help you greatly increase your blessings from the Lord.
First, lets start by stating this… anything that is in regards from the Lord is verified by Scriptural texts AND scripture will NEVER conflict itself.
Why did people in the Bible tithe?
The first example we see of giving a tithe/tenth appeared in the Bible in Genesis 14:20, “And blessed be God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abraham gave one-tenth of everything.” (1) Abram had just experienced victory and the return of his nephew Lot after he was taken captive by Kedorlaomer and his allies.
Abraham felt compelled to act in gratitude to the Lord by giving a tenth of the spoils he received in the victory to the king of Salem, who he viewed a the representative of God.
We see it next in Genesis 28:22, “and this stone I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me, I will give you a tenth.” Jacob promised to give a tenth of all the blessing he received from God.
Soon after, God requires a tenth of all crops and livestock from all Israelites as a vow, recognizing that all things given are from the Lord. (2) It does not become law until Deuteronomy 14:28-29.
When the Law of Moses was established to tithe, it was to support the Levites in their priestly service (provision of atonement) and to take care of the aliens, widows, and orphans among the tribes. When Jesus became the ultimate atonement for our sins, (3) the need for the Levitical Priesthood was remove.
Are we required to tithe today?
No- simply put, Christian are not required to tithe by Biblical law, BUT the Lord did establish multiple times throughout Scripture that tithing is holy and pleasing in His sight; that it is a gateway to an outpouring of blessing. Who does not want to fall into God’s blessing??
Actually, tithing is the only subject in which God says to test Him.
Malachi 3:8-10 says, 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
God promises that if you bring unto him tithe and offering, He will open the floodgates of blessing, so much so that it will overwhelm those who receive it.
What is tithe?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it has four definitions: “1 : a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment; 2 : the obligation represented by individual tithes; 3 : tenth; broadly : a small part; 4 : a small tax or levy.” (4)
From original Scriptural texts, we find the words “maaser or maasrah” in Hebrew and “apodekatoo” in Greek, both meaning tenth, tenth part, giving or receiving a It is clear that God uses the amount of a tenth as the base for giving, but does He give any other guidelines?
Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim with fresh wine.”
2 Corinthians 9:7- “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Matthew 8:10- “… Freely you have received, freely give.”
Looking at those verses, God also establishes that we should give from our wealth and first fruit with a cheerful heart and not reluctantly or compulsively. Give from the heart, which the Lord leads.
How do we tithe?
I can speak personally about the blessings of God regarding tithe, not just monetarily. I believe that it is a sign of faith to tithe from your money, before doing anything else. (First Fruits) I follow the examples given of using a tenth. Before I pay any bills, buy any groceries, or indulge in any way, I pay ten percent of what comes in.
Have I not done so? Absolutely! Many, many times. There would not be enough money to pay for everything we would need until the next pay day OR I would want something and the tithe would be just enough to pay for it. Do you want to know what happened???
Unexpected sickness, the cars broke down, appliances would break and need replacing, even good things would not be as pleasurable as they typically were… Every single time, it would cost me more to fix things than the tithe would have been to bless the Lord to begin with. Did I recognize this immediately? No, not at all!
Do I think God was punishing me for not tithing? No! But then as I grew in Christ, I realized that the promise of God’s blessing happens in many ways: health and raised immunity to sicknesses, cars continuing to work when they should not be able to, gas mileage stretching far beyond what it typically does, appliances working beyond the date of “expiration”, peace when I should be troubled, joy in things that are not typically pleasing, finding pleasure in foods, situations, and EVERY time, God would provide for all needs.
When I realized these things, I began to ask myself, how can I tithe or give from the first fruit in all areas of my life? I started with time, which has been huge for me. I wake up before the rest of the house stirs and devote time specifically to prayer and reading God’s word.
It allows me to start my day in a different mindset, a Christ-driven mindset. My heart is focused on things of the Lord and as the day carries on, I face trials and temptations differently.
Its amazing how God will allow the Scripture you read in the morning to come alive and help you navigate life throughout the day. Its life-changing.
When I started giving of my day, the first fruits of my time, it became very evident when I did not. Some nights, the kids would just not sleep well and need attending often. I would be “too tired” to get up.
Other nights, I would stay up until early morning working on papers or household chores and when the alarm clock rang, I could not even open my eyes to shut it back off. Instead of reminding myself that I will do better starting my day tired but with the Lord, I thought about how two more hours of sleep will change the day, how being rested will make life easier.
Yet, even being more rested, things just seem to go haywire and my mind was never filtering and thinking as it should. Being aligned with the Lord is necessary!
Reading His Word and praying are the only ways to do just that! I am ALWAYS more successful when I start my day with the Lord!
What are ways you have found to tithe your first fruits?
What blessings have you seen from tithing?
Have you ever seen a difference in your life when you allowed yourself to not stand directly under the waterfall of His blessings?
If you have never made a commitment to tithe, try it! I guarantee you will be blessed! How can I say that with confidence? The Lord promised it and even said to test Him in it. What do you have to lose?
About the Author:
- Masters Degree (Christian Discipleship)
- Bachelors Degree (Education)
- Mother Of Two
- Also Mom to Rhett (The worlds greatest dog).
1: All Scripture referenced will be New International Version NIV, unless otherwise referenced.
2: Leviticus 27:30
3: 1 Peter 2:24, Leviticus 17:11, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 9:12, Revelation 5:9, Romans 5:2, Hebrews 13:12, Isaiah 53:5,
4: “Tithe." Merriam-Webster.com. Accessed January 21, 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tithe