What Does The Bible Teach On Tithing? – Part 1
– by Gerrie Bester
Many questions arise when we talk about the subject of tithing in the body of Christ. Is it really a full 10%? What if I cannot give it right now? To who exactly should I give my tithe? The church? What if they don’t spend it in a Godly way? What if the pastor or minister uses my tithe to enrich him/herself? Should I rather sow my tithe into the lives of others as I feel led to do? On what amount do I calculate my tithe, my gross or my net income? Questions we trust Abba Father to give us insight to from His word over the next few issues of JOY!
When did tithing originate?
The first time the word tithe appears in the Bible is in Genesis 14:20, when Abram (his name had not yet been changed to Abraham by God) gave tithes to Melchizedek (which in Hebrew means “King of righteousness”) from all that Abram had. Interesting to note that this happened prior to Abba Father giving Moses His instructions (translated as law in the English Bible) on Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus. Don’t you sometimes wonder how Abram knew that he had to tithe as it was prior to God giving His children the law? What if it has always been part of the character of Abba Father that He is trying to teach us in His Word? We will look into this in depth in the course of these articles over the next few months.
Everything belongs to the Lord
The Hebrew word translated as the word tithing in Genesis 14:20 is the word Ma’Aser, which means “a tenth part”, so we see the picture that Abba Father paints with regards to the portion of our tithing. Abram did not take a guess as to what portion he was to give – it was a picture from the heart of the Father. In Haggai 2:8 the Lord declares that all silver and gold belongs to Him. Psalm 24:1 and 1 Corinthians 10:26 teaches us that everything on earth, the fullness thereof, belongs to the Lord. The Word of God is true for He is not a man that can lie (Numbers 23:19).
Why do we tithe?
How do we then think that we can “bless” Him with our tithes. Does He need our money, or is there something much deeper He is trying to teach us in this? If you give me your cellphone to use, I cannot take it from you and then hand it back to you with the words “I want to bless you with this phone”. How do I bless you with something that already belongs to you? The first thing we need to understand when it comes to tithing is that I am not doing Abba Father a favour by tithing. What is the Biblical foundation for tithing then? We will press in deeper in my column next month.
JOY! Magazine (July 2018)