Tithes and Offerings
In His Presence: You shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always (Deuteronomy 14:23).
God told the Israelites they were robbing Him in two ways: in their tithes and in their offerings. The word tithe means one-tenth, and it refers back to a time even before the nation of Israel existed, when God conveyed the expectation that man would recognize His sovereignty by giving a tithe.
In Genesis 14:17-24, Abraham offered Melchizedek, the king of Salem, a tithe because of the victory God had given him and the blessing that God had bestowed upon him. Abraham offered a tithe to Melchizedek, who was the forerunner to Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is greater than Melchizedek (Hebrews 7). If Abraham had to offer a tithe to Melchizedek, and Jesus is the follower of Melchizedek, then how much more do we have a responsibility to honor the sovereignty of Christ who is the King of the world?
Leviticus 27:30 says that the tithe is "holy to the Lord." The tithe doesn't belong to us; it belongs to God. The tithe teaches that there is only one Creator and Sustainer, and it's not us.
While the tithe is mandatory, the offering is voluntary. We determine the amount of the offering, and it is from the heart. But an offering is never an offering until we have given the full tithe. We must first give what God expects, and then we can give over and above that expectation to reflect a heart of love, gratitude, and rejoicing. If we don't give to God out of obedience and gratitude, it shows that something is wrong with our hearts.
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