“Do I have to tithe?”
The short answer is—No, you don’t have to do it. God isn’t a tax collector, nor does He demand your obedience. God loves you so much He gives you the choice. But why wouldn’t you want to give back to Him? If you’ve placed your eternity in His hands, why wouldn’t you be eager to bring tithes and offerings to say thank you to the God of all creation?
But does what the Word say about tithing? Is tithing just Old Testament stuff?
Could tithing be a barometer of your heart?
God created a very good world. He said so—six times in the first chapter of Genesis—God saw everything He had made and “God saw that it was good.”
But in Chapter 3 everything changed. Adam’s disobedience and Eve’s deception. By listening to the serpent rather than obeying God, sin entered the Father’s perfect world, just like He said it would.
In Chapter 4, we find the first mention of an offering. Cain brought fruit and Abel brought a firstborn lamb from his flock. Abel’s offering was respected but Cain’s was not.
“Why was Abel’s offering respected when Cain’s was not? Because Abel was obedient to give what God revealed. But Cain had no regard for divine instruction, he gave what he wanted.” (Commentary by the MacArthur Study Bible). Cain was angry with God, refused to repent, and rejected God’s opportunity to change his ways. Angry and jealous, he killed his brother and was cursed by God.
Knowing this, what do you think tithing says about your heart?
Ancient Jerusalem’s king-priest received tithes.
Genesis 14:18-20 introduces us to Melchizedek, king of Salem (Ancient Jerusalem), who Scripture identifies as a priest of God Most High—El Elyon (Sovereign Lord). Abram is on his way home from a successful battle when King-Priest, Melchizedek, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And Abram gave him a tenth of all” (Genesis 14:20 NAS).
The MacArthur Study Bible notes this is the first mention in Scripture of giving 10 percent. This 10 percent offering was voluntary, unlike the required tenth to come in the Mosaic Law.
Tithing acknowledges acceptance of God’s authority.
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy sets out the tithes and offerings requirement to the early Israelites in order for them to receive the blessings of God Most High.
Our Sovereign God is a God of order. He created the Levitical tithing system as a means of taking care of the priests, the Levites, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widows who lived within their gates. But throughout the Word there is a promise attached to giving required tithes and offerings (Numbers 14:28-29 NKJ).
“… that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do” (Deuteronomy 14:29b NKJ).
Why would anyone gag over gnats and gulp camels when it comes to giving a portion back to El Elyon who gives us everything?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NAS).
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SOURCE: Charisma, DiAne Gates