THE TITHING PRINCIPLE
Key Passage: Malachi 3:7-10
Here the people of God receive The Command to return to Yahweh (Mal. 3:7) and to remember His instructions (Malachi 4:4)
Evidence to the return was to resume bringing the full tithes and other offerings.
Note! “You are under a curse for robbing Me” (Verse 9)
- The genesis of Tithing:
Abram’s demonstration of his confidence and assurance that it is Gods who prospers him (See Gen. 14:18-24 Melchizedek vs the King of Sodom with background of rescuing Lot and all the goods of Sodom.)
a) With Melchizedek, kind of Salem (near Jerusalem) who was also a Priest of God Most High, Abram was cooperative (vv18-20)
b) But with the king of Sodom, he refused to take even the smallest thing. Abram would not let him diminish God’s glory by taking credit for Abram’s property (vv21-24)
- How God instituted this Tithing Principle
That practice of Abram anticipatedIsrael’s tithing principle to God
a) Lev. 27:30-34 30 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. 31 Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it. 32 Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord. 33 No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’” 34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.
b) The Priests (Levites) receive all the Tithes and intend, are supposed to tithe to Aaron, the high priest (Num 18:21-32) 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’ 30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress.
- The purpose of Tithes:
- To support the Priests, Levites, Widows, Fatherless, and landless poor.
- To demonstrate a proper attitude toward their possessions as God’s gifts
Deut. 12:5-19; 14:22-29; 26:12-15;
Deut. 14: 28 At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, 29 so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.
Deut. 26: 12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 Then say to the Lord your God: “I have removed from my house the sacred portion and have given it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, according to all you commanded. I have not turned aside from your commands nor have I forgotten any of them. 14 I have not eaten any of the sacred portion while I was in mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor have I offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God; I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from heaven, your holy dwelling place, and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us as you promised on oath to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.”
• When they neglected this duty, Nehemiah reminded them (Neh. 10:38; 13:10-12
10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and musicians responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11 So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. 12 All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil into the storerooms.
• Jesus also affirmed that it should be adhered to IN ADDITION to righteousness of justice, mercy and faithfulness
Matt. 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. 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.
➢ Question! Now tell me why the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees were practicing the TITHING PRINCIPLE (so religiously) in the New Testament? (Ans: Just so they could reap the benefits).
- The benefits of faithful tithing as outlined in Malachi 3:10b-12
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,”Says the Lord of hosts,
(1) Supernatural blessing from above:
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
(2) God Rebukes the Devourer (he) “for your sake”
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts;
(3) God Will change how others see you 12 “And all “nations” (ungodly) will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.
THE ULTIMATE QUESTION?
Should we pay Tithes or see it as an Old Testament Principle and ignore it?
Are these promises (benefits) only meant for the people of the Old Testament?