ABRAHAM GAVE THE TITHE
The first mention of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis 14:20. Abraham gave to Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God, a tithe (or tenth part) of all the spoil he had taken in a battle. He wasn’t instructed or commanded to give, he gave as he purposed in his heart.
JACOB GAVE THE TENTH
Jacob, having received a blessing from God the night before, vowed to God a tenth of all that God prospered him with (Genesis 28:22). He gave not because he was instructed or commanded to give, but because he desired to give.
MOSES GAVE GOD’S LAW TO ISRAEL WHICH COMMANDED ALL ISRAEL TO TITHE
In Leviticus 27:30-34 and in several other accounts, God’s law to Israel – under the old covenant – required all Israelites to pay the tithe. This portion, according to Deuteronomy 26:12, was to be given to the Levites (who were the clergy), the stranger, the fatherless, and the widows. They were now to pay the tithe; Abraham and Jacob had given the tithe. There is a great difference.
ISRAELITES ROBBED GOD BY NOT TITHING
In Malachi 3:8 we see that Israelites robbed God by not paying the tithe. They broke covenant with God failing to keep God’s commandment given by Moses.
SCRIBES AND PHARISEES WERE REQUIRED BY JESUS TO PAY THE TITHE
Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 to pay their tithes. They were Israelites living under the law God gave through Moses. The law required them to pay the tithe.
THE NEW COVENANT FREES FROM THE OLD COVENANT LAW
The old covenant that God made with Israel through Moses required tithing. This covenant was made with Israel, not with all mankind. Before the covenant Abraham and Jacob choose to give the tithe. All Israel, after the old covenant was made, were commanded to pay the tithe. Jesus freed Israel from the bondage of the old covenant (Hebrews 8:8-10, Galatians 3:24-25, Romans 8:14 & Galatians 5:18, Romans 6:14, Romans 8:2, Romans 7:4). In Galatians 5:4 we see that when a man tries to be justified by the law he is making the work of Jesus of no effect in his life, and he is fallen from grace. Tithing is law given to Israel by God through Moses. This law is put away for every Israelite by faith in Jesus, as they embrace the new covenant. Non-Israelites were never under the old covenant.
GIVE FREELY, NOT OF NECESSITY
We are told in 2 Corinthians 9:7 to give to God’s work not because we have to – of necessity – but cheerfully and as we decide. Under the law they were commandment to pay the tithe. Being saved we don’t pay the tithe, but we give out of a sincere desire to do so.
MOSES COMMANDED 10%, WE GIVE 100%
Many feel that because we are not under the law of tithing it liberates from the responsibility of giving to God. It doesn’t. We have been changed. We are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). This change gives us a new nature, writing the law on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10), and we desire to please God, not because of commandment, but because it’s a part of our new nature.
We are purchased by the blood of Jesus. He redeemed us from the guilt of sin. We belong to Him. He bought us 100%, not 10%. He paid a dear price. All that we are is His; all that we have is His; all that we ever hope to be or have is His. Because of our new nature we no longer live for “self”, but should seek to further His kingdom by total commitment in every aspect of our life.
Use your time wisely – it belongs to God. Use your talents wisely – they belong to God. Use your possessions wisely – they belong to God. Use your money wisely – it belongs to God. If you are saved you have been redeemed – bought back from the guilt of sin, and you are no longer your own.
To avoid condemnation it’s very needful to understand that monies, time, etc., that are used to meet self needs are not used wrongly. You belong to Him. He expects you to maintain your life wisely with the proper life needs (shelter, food, rest, recreation, fellowship, etc.). Wisely tend to yourself so that you can better serve Him. A good steward will take good care of God’s procession – himself.
Remember, a good steward is not saved because he is a good steward;
he is a good steward because he is saved!