Tithe is the one tenth of annual produce or earnings. God viewed the tithes as the part that was rightfully His in all His people produced or did. The tithes helped feed and pay the priests who kept the temple.
Nowadays, tithing is one of the most controversial topics in the churches. Many Christians struggle with the issue of tithing. In some churches giving is over-emphasized. At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations about making offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing. Sadly, that is sometimes not the case in the church today.
In the Bible, we can see that many people did practice tithing during their times. To name a few, we have our father of faith, Abraham who gave tithes to Melchisedec, the king of Salem (Genesis 14:17-23), Jacob the grandson of Abraham also practiced tithing and even Jesus Christ himself, recognized tithing. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus recognized or commended the Pharisees for tithing. Tithing was the only thing they were doing right.
The tithing rules in the Bible were based specifically on the religious and social system of ancient Israel and on an agricultural economy. Nowadays, many Christian believe that tithing is not the New Testament standard for giving. However, here are 8 reasons why you should consider tithing as your way of giving:
Other Christians tithe not because tithing is a New Testament obligation. Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Many Christians who are unsure about how much to give to the work of the Lord find tithing a helpful place to begin in their giving.
I myself, practice tithing, not because I am following the Old Testament commandment but because I feel that whenever I tithe, I put God first. And that reason glorifies God. When I start working on my budget, I always make sure to start with my tithe. It doesn’t just glorify God, it also makes us feel happy that we care about the Lord’s work and that we are doing our part in the ministry.
In Malachi 3:10, the Lord says “bring the whole tithe into the storehouse”. The storehouse refers to the place where we worship, our home church, the place where we are spiritually fed. That church is where we should be giving our tithes; it is one of our responsibilities to help that church. No church can stand alone; we need to do our part in helping our church propagate. God says to put Him to test, he dares us to try him by putting him first and giving our tithes to him and eventually, we will see great blessings overtake your lives, even to the point that we will see God opening the windows of blessing upon our family. God promised a cup that’s full and running over – that’s a wonderful promise that we get from trusting God fully by giving Him the 10th part of our income.
If we read further the verses in Malachi 3, in verse 11, God made another promise that He will rebuke the devourers for our sakes. The bible says we have an enemy that will steal all our finances, but, when we bring God the whole tithe, and give offerings as He leads us, God will rebuke the enemy. That’s another promise we can fully rely on.
Matthew 6:19-20 says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” When we give your tithes and offerings to the Lord’s work, we are investing your money in souls for the Kingdom, and helping to get people to heaven. Things here on Earth are sometimes very enticing, sometimes, we are tempted by the devil to get that item that’s “on sale” at the department store even though we don’t really need it. But we have to bear in mind that our lives here on Earth are like a vapor that vanishes away. We should work on investing treasures that we can take with us after our lives here on Earth and we can enjoy for all eternity.
Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:8 says, “I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.” All that we do is between us and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. Furthermore, Galatians 6:7, another verse written by the Apostle Paul says “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”. The important thing is that we see tithing as a privilege and opportunity to invest for eternity and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced. For God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Tithing is cited 8 times in the New Testament. The 8 times “tithing” is cited specifically in the New Testament appear to be only 4 accounts. One of the four accounts is by the Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 7:5-9) while interestingly, the other 3 accounts are from the mouth of Jesus-Christ himself. Now, let’s look at what Jesus Christ wants us to understand in these 3 verses. The first account is recorded in Matthew 23:23, the second is in Luke 11:42, and the third account is recorded in Luke 18:12.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23).
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” (Luke 11:42).
“I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get”. (Luke 18:12).
God tells us in Luke 16:11, “if therefore you have not been faithful in the use of money, how can you expect Him to entrust greater riches to you?” Many Christians don’t grow spiritually, and remain spiritual babies because they are not faithful to obey God in the tithes and offering. Some Christians do not completely rely on God. They have doubts as to if God can really fulfill their needs if they give some parts of their income to the Lord. This is one of greatest, most common mistakes that a Christian commits. We should learn to fully rely on God. This doesn’t just make God what we think are impossible but it also helps us grow spiritually.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” We should think of tithes as an opportunity and not a necessity to give. It has been said that you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Some Christians unfortunately, gets caught in the web of excuses when it comes to tithing. Some will say they will tithe when they can make more money, or when they get a promotion or raise. This shouldn’t be the case. How can God entrust us with bigger things if He can’t trust us with smaller ones?
John D Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in history, said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” By God’s grace, we will be able to tithe when we ask for His guidance and wisdom every day.