The tithe is one-tenth of a person’s income and it belongs to God. “All the tithe of the land … is the Lord’s” (Leviticus 27:30). God asks us to bring the tithe into His storehouse and He promises to prosper His faithful financial stewards, and they will be a blessing to those around them.
“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ says the Lord of hosts; ‘ and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:10–12).
Some have thought that tithing was part of Moses’ system of rites and ceremonies that ended at the cross. But the Bible says that, “he [Abram] gave him a tithe of all” (Genesis 14:20). And in Genesis 28:22, Jacob said, “Of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Both Abraham and Jacob, who lived long before Moses’ day, tithed their income. Therefore, we can conclude that God’s plan of tithing is not limited to Moses’ law and applies to all people of all times.
At the Mosaic period, the children of Israel followed God’s plan for providing for His ministers and they also tithed, “I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting” (Numbers 18:21). The tithe in Old Testament days was used for the income of the priests. The tribe of Levi (the priests) received no portion of land while the other 11 tribes did. The Levites worked in God’s temple ministering to the people.
In the New Testament, Jesus didn’t abolish the plan of tithing for He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Matthew 23:23). Here, Jesus rebuked the Jews for omitting the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, faith—even though they were meticulous tithers. He then told them they should continue tithing but should also be just and merciful and faithful.
In the apostolic era, we read that Paul taught about tithing: “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14).
Thus, we see that tithe has been God’s plan to take care of His minsters. When we return God’s tithe, we make Him a partner in everything we undertake. When we tithe, we tithe to Him. and the Lord promised that if we put Him first, He will see to it that our needs are all met (Matthew 6:33).
In His service,
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