The Stewardship of Money-3
7 Scriptural Reasons For Tithing
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Three Key Principles That Must Be Remembered When It Comes To Money And The Stewardship of ItÖ
Three Alternatives For Spending Money
In this message I will be sharing with youÖ
Seven Scriptural Reasons For Tithing
Seven Scriptural Reasons For Tithing
Letís begin by looking at the definition of tithe. The Hebrew word rsem maĎaser (mah-as-ayrí) literally means tenth or a tenth part. Letís look at the first Scriptural reason for tithingÖ
I have had many interesting discussions with people about tithing over the years. One thing that often comes up is the assertion that tithing began under the Old Testament Law. However, that is not accurate. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedec about 500 years before the Law was ever given. We see this in Genesis 14:20 "And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." We see that Melchizedec was both a king (King of Salem Ė the old name for Jerusalem) and priest of the "most high God," the God of Abraham (v.18). As King he brought bread and wine to Abrahamís weary men. As Priest he blessed Abraham. Abraham in turn, gave a tithe of all the spoils of battle to Melchizedec. Letís look at the second reason for tithingÖ
The times of Jacob are still about 450 years before the Law. We read about his partnership with God and his agreement to tithe in Genesis 28:20-22 "And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
Leviticus 27:30 "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." Turn also to Deuteronomy 14:22 "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year." Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Christians who complain about tithing in our day should be glad that they did not live under the law. Why? Apparently there were two tithes in Israel: The first tithe was given to sustain the priests (Numbers 18:21-24; Deuteronomy 12:19). The second tithe was eaten before the Lord by the offerers (Deuteronomy 12:17-18; 14:23-27). This second tithe was taken out of that which remained after the Levites were satisfied, and was given every third year (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)
Matthew 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
In this passage Jesus is not condemning their tithing these small aromatic herbs, but what he does condemn is neglecting "the weightier matters." He acknowledges that they were exact in their tithing but, they neglected other very important matters of the law like judgment, mercy and faith.
1 Corinthians 9:13-14 "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."
How was Godís work and His workers supported in the Old Testament? It was by the tithe and offerings. We are told in verse 14 that, "the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel," that is by the tithe.
Turn in your Bible to Hebrews 7:1-3 & 14-28. In this passage we see "Abraham paid a tenth part of all" to Melchizedek. Then in verse 17 & 21 that Jesus Christ is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, He is to receive the Christianís tithes.
1 Corinthians 16:1-3 "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem."
There is little doubt that the laying by in store as the Lord prospered was giving the tithe. Under the Law tithing was commanded. Under Grace, we do not tithe legalistically, but because we love the Lord. Do you think God would ask less love, less faith, and less cheerful giving from a New Testament Christian than from a Jew under the Law? Tithing, for the Christian, is not a matter of bondage. Turn to 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
What does God call us if we refuse to tithe? "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Malachi 3:8.
Paying our tithe pleases the Lord. It establishes Godís ownership of all we have. It keeps us from covetousness. It proves the sincerity of our love for the Lord.
If we will be wise stewards of our money, we will pay