A Serving Church Tithes
Tithe - ma’aser (Hebrew) literally means a tenth. Jewish law required the people to give a tenth of everything; cattle, sheep, grain, fruit, wine, oil.
We serve a giving God. From the very beginning God has given. Genesis 1:29, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.” To Abraham, He gave a son, to the son’s offspring He gave a land, to His children He gave freedom, to the world He gave a Savior. And this Savior was actually given before the foundation of the earth. We must understand that everything we have is a gift from God. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 states, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” God has given us everything.
So if this is true, that God has given everything, then why does He want it back? Does God need our money? No. Is God reneging on His gift? No. Genesis 1:27 teaches that we are created in the image of God. Being that we are in His image, we need to be givers. Giving begins with the one who gave to us. The tithe, a tenth, predates the law. The first mention is when Abraham gave a tenth of all he had to Melchizedek, the priest of God Most High. We don’t know the details God had given to Abraham about the tithe but we see the demonstration of giving back to God. Then we see in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy the commands to tithe and how the tithes go to support the Levites who are the ministers to the nation. God uses the tithe to bring us into a more trusting relationship with Him, to be more like His image and to minister to those in need.
Through the Bible we are taught not to test the Lord our God, yet, there is one place where God says, “Test Me.” Malachi 3:10-12 tells us, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in My house. And thereby put Me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.” Prior to this challenge, however, God is calling out the nation of Israel for stealing from Him. “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you.” WOW!!! Is that not a powerful statement.
Seems as though it comes down to a choice. Do I trust God or take from God? As Joshua said, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Amen.