Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012 … The Telling Tithe

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Deuteronomy, Chapters 14-16 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Deuteronomy 14: 22-23: … [Tithing Tells the Tale of Faith] 22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.23 Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.
Deuteronomy 15: 10-11: … [Tithing, A Measure of Generosity] 10 Give generously to them [i.e., the poor] and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Proverbs 3: 9-10: … [Tithing Honors God] 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Malachi 3: 8-10: … [Withholding the Tithe Robs God] … [God’s proclamation] 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob Me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing You?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 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.
2nd Corinthians 9: 6-8: … [Tithing With A Glad Heart] 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 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. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work..

My Journal for Today: Tithing! … Ugh! … Tithing is always a subject which raises eyebrows among church-going Christians. And why? … Simple answer: Few Christians tithe.

In an April 14, 2008 report, the Barna Research Group reported: ”Whether they believe in the principle of tithing or not, few Americans give away that much money. In 2007, the research revealed that just 5% of adults tithed.” … My guess is that the tithing percentage has only gone down in these last five years.

Today, in my chronological read through Deuteronomy 14-16 [linked above for your study], I encountered God’s instructions to Israel about tithing. And rather than give my fellow readers and followers a verbose blog on the subject, I decided to copy/paste above the Scripture passages which I could remember were pertinent to the subject of Christian giving and just let you, my fellow Christian, deal with what God’s Spirit has authored into His Word about tithing and giving.

I’m not going to say very much beyond what God tells us from His word on the subject (above). But it’s obvious – from these texts – and the poor record on tithing by Christians according the Barna research, that Gods’ church is robbing and dishonoring God of what He is due; and I believe that is what has made our country so vulnerable to the government become our welfare agency rather than the church. I’ve heard it said that if 50% of the American Church would tithe, there would be no need for our government to have a welfare system because the CHURCH in the USA could take care of all who needed assistance from the coffers which would be available to help the poor/needy.

If you read those passages above – as I did this morning – I think we all need to do a self-exam and ask ourselves …
>>> As a Christian, am I tithing; and if not, why not?
>>> Am I honoring God with my giving of tithes, talents, treasures, and time?
>>> Am I a cheerful giver; or do I give begrudgingly, out of obligation?
>>> Why don’t I test God and get my heart right by willingly giving more?

I’ll leave it to you to take my little test on the tithe this morning? Because God has challenged us in the Malachi 3 passage above to test Him and give our tithes and offerings, promising to bless our lives (see the Proverbs 3 passage) if/when we do. And then there is God’s sowing and reaping principle (see 2nd Cor. 9 above). For when we take all of God’s word above into account, we’re not only robbing God by withholding our tithes, given generously, we’re robbing ourselves.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, may I give to You with a joyful heart, knowing how much You have given me. Amen


Gary Arnold said...

NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

Leviticus 27:30-33 defines this tithe as a tenth of crops and animals in herds and flocks.
Numbers 18 gives the ordinances, or instructions, for this tithe, and commands this tithe be taken to the Levites.
Purpose of this tithe: to support the Levitical Priesthood.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27: aka The Festival Tithe - a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.
Purpose of this tithe: “that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always”

Deuteronomy 14:28-29: aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe - a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.
Purpose of this tithe: to feed the poor.

When God gave the Israelites the promised land, He RESERVED, for Himself, a tenth of the crops and every tenth animal. They NEVER did belong to the Israelites. In other words, the tithe was from God's increase of FOOD, not from man's income. It was a way to distribute FOOD to the Levites and priests who did NOT inherit any land.

No one, not even the farmers, tithed on their income.

The farmers made their income by SELLING and/or barter-exchanging their crops and animals but did NOT tithe on that income.

Today, ALL born-again believers are priests. ALL of us are called to be deciples of the Lord. No one of us is higher than another. Our bodies are the Temple where the Spirit dwells. According to the scriptures, priests do not tithe.

Bill said...

Thank you - SINCERELY - for the well considered historical and biblical perspective ... well documented and expressed ... Bill