Speaking and listening with people in general I have found out that many Christians struggle with the subject of tithing. Tithing / giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. However, that is sometimes not the case in the church body today.
A. According to the Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible the meaning of the word “tithe” is “ the practice of giving a tenth of one’s income or property as an offering to God”. This practice of tithing was prevalent throughout much of the ancient world, and prior to Mosaic Law, was found among the Hebrews.
The Bible records the first act of tithing in Genesis 14:17-20. Abraham returned from helping Lot and met Melchizedek and gave him a tithe of all the goods that he had secured from defeating Lot’s enemies. Later, Jacob, prior to the Law of Moses, promised to give a tenth of all that he received to the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all that He had done. ( Gen.28:22 )
The Old Testament books of Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy clarified the meaning, purpose, and reason for the three tithes- Levitical, Festival, and for the Poor ( given every third year ). The Law of Moses explained in detail about tithing ( Leviticus 27:30-32 ). The people were to tithe of land ( “ the seed of the land and the fruit of the tree “ ). Also, it was a requirement that they give every tenth animal in their flocks and herds to the Lord. In Numbers 18;21-32, It is stated that the tithes would be given to the Levites because they did not receive an inheritance of land as did the other tribes. It also stipulated that the Levites had to offer a part of the goods ( tithe ) they received to the Lord. The Levites were allowed to keep the balance of what they received for their living expenses ; this was compensation for their work in the tabernacle. Tithes were also to be used to help strangers, widows, and orphans.
Deuteronomy also provides further explanation about tithing. In chapter 12:5-7, 11-12, and 17-18, the Israelites are told to take their tithes to Jerusalem as the Lord directed. In this instance the only tithe mentioned is a vegetable, but in 2 Chronicles 31:6 , cattle are mentioned as a tithe. In Deuteronomy 26:12-15, tithing was not collected annually, but only in the third year, which became known as the year of tithing. A ritual meal was also offered as a tithe ( Deut.12 :7, 12 ).
In the book of Malachi ( 3:8-12 ) , the prophet admonishes the Israelites for not giving tithes and offerings. He warns them that to enjoy the blessings of God they must bring their tithes into the storehouse.
Nowhere does the New Testament command Christians to tithe. In fact the two words “ tithe “ and “tithing “ only appear eight times in the New Testament ( Matthew 2:23; Luke 11:4;18:12; Heb. 7:5-6, 8-9 ) and that is in reference to the Old Testament usage and the current Jewish practice. (Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible p. 1057 ) However, as Christian believers we should be willing to share our possessions and our time with others and to support the Christianity ministry.
B. Yes, Christians should tithe. Jesus modeled for us how to be a cheerful giver and to give voluntarily from the heart. We should be willing to give back to God that which is rightfully and truly His. Everything that we have comes from God. It is only just and right that we ,as believers, should be delighted to return a portion of all that He has blessed us with and bestowed upon us back to Him. By withholding tithes, as Malachi pointed out, we are “ robbing God “.
I was in a revival service last evening and the evangelist mentioned on the subject of tithing and what the evangelist said made a lot of sense. Some say that tithing is in the Old Testament however it's still in the BIBLE. Also, the evangelist mentioned how can people are always asking God for blessings, deliverance, healing, financial blessings, etc., when they are robbing God of his 10% and not bringing God's portion of our earnings to the storehouse? That's stealing and a thief. We can do more with 90% than robbing the Lord's, the stolen 10%. Think about it, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills plus God promises to supply our every need, Matthew 19:24 teaches "That it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." hummm - what are your thoughts?
And He Shall Direct Your Paths.
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Proverbs 3:5-6 Is A Familiar Passage To Many:
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We Cannot Also Depend Upon Our Own Ability To Understand Everything God Is Doing