When We Are Obedient to God, He Blesses Us in Every Way
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty.
What is a tithe?
- The tithe was one tenth of the of the increase of the crops of the land, as well as the firstborn male among the cattle. It was only given by the landowners. It was a portion of the increase that God gave to them. The farmers planted the seed, and cared for the land, but God gave the increase.
- Since the cattle grazed off of the land, and God gave the increase (birth of new cattle), the firstborn male was to be tithed as well.
- The tithe was not required of the day laborer. He was properly remunerated for his labor – equal pay for equal work. There was no increase in his pay by God.
- The value of day’s wages in Jesus’ time was a denarius.
Who received the tithe?
- The tithe was given by God to the priests of Levi since they had no land in the inheritance. God was their share and inheritance among the Israelites.
What was the purpose of the tithe?
- God provided the tithe so that the priests could eat since they didn’t inherit land to farm. Priests could buy (rent) land if it was for sale. But under God’s law, the land should have been returned to the proper owners (those whose family inherited it) during the year of Jubilee. Since the Israelites did not honor or obey the Jubilee decree, the sale was more or less final, rather than a rental.
- God also wanted the tithe to be used to feed the widows, the orphans, and the strangers among them.
- God provided the tithe to the priests so that they could focus on their priestly duties.
- God wanted to install in His people that God is first in everything. That is why He wanted the first-fruits of the labor of the land:
- It was to show absolute trust in God that he would continue to provide for the people.
- It was the best that the plants had to offer. God ALWAYS wants our best. He rightly deserves it!
- Even the priests were to tithe. They didn’t earn it in wages – God gave them this increase, so they needed to tithe as well.
Does God need a tithe?
- No. God says that everything is His, and He doesn’t need anything from us (Psalm 50:10-12).
What is an offering?
- An offering is a free-will gift to God to show honor to God in something. There were several types of offerings:
- Burnt offerings
- Drink offerings
- Fellowship offerings
- Food offerings
- Grain offerings
- Sin offerings
- Wave offering
- Offerings are prompted by God in your heart.
- Offerings are used to help us to depend upon God for everything.
- Offerings help pay for ministries.
- Jesus Christ was the final, complete, and absolute offering for our sin.
Should we tithe, give offerings, or both?
- God wants us to keep Him FIRST in our lives. During the time when the laws were given to Moses, there wasn’t a building that needed to be maintained. They had the tent of meeting, and that didn’t require very much maintenance. The first temple was built by David’s son, Solomon. Upkeep of the temple was provided through offerings.
- Unless you are a crop farmer and/or own livestock, TITHING is inappropriate. If you DO give a tithe, see to it that whoever receives it uses it for the appropriate purposes:
- Feeding of the Pastor(s)
- Feeding of the Widows
- Feeding of the Orphans
- Feeding of the strangers among you (Homeless?)
- Give OFFERINGS for the following:
- If you like meeting in a church building as opposed to an open field, person’s home, or other gathering venue, give offerings for them.
- Give offerings to support church-directed ministries, anything OTHER than support of the widows, orphans, and the strangers among you.
- A worker is worthy of his wages. Since the Pastor(s) has/have given his/their full-time to ministering to the people, provide offerings to support his/their efforts.
- ANYTHING God lays upon your heart to give. God will pour out His blessing upon you. This is not always a financial blessing, but every blessing from God is precious!
A Qualifying Question
So let’s ask ourselves a question: Am I showing that God is first in my life with the Time, Talent, and TREASURE that He has provided in the offerings that I give?
A short Prayer of Preparation
Father in Heaven, I give thanks You for You are so generous towards me. Father, help me to trust You more in every aspect of my life. Help me to go over my finances, and see if there is anything that you want to change. Provide guidance for everything that I spend Your money on and help me to find ways to increase my offerings to You. Father, out of Your goodness and mercy, You continue to provide for my every need. Help me to realign my goals and directives so that they align with Yours. And please, Lord God, use the offerings that I have given back to You to Your glory. May many lives be brought into the kingdom of God because of them. May they honor and glorify Your Most Holy Name. This I ask and pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.