What are your beliefs about tithing? Do you believe they are required by God? Or do you believe it is simply a money-making scheme for churches? Do you really want to know the answer? Or are you satisfied to go on believing what you believe?
Tithing can be a very divisive issue. Some believe it is antiquated and no longer a requirement. Others believe tithing is required by God. Still others believe it is a good thing to commit to, but it is not required. What does the Bible say about it?
As we see in today’s passage, God desires us to tithe. He instructed the Israelites to tithe for a reason. It was not because He needed it to carry out His plan, but to provide for the needs of others. Initially, it was to provide for the Levites since they were given an inheritance of the land of Israel and to remove sin. You see, the Levites were to tend to the duties of the temple and perform worship activities. With no land nor a paying job, the tithes were the means by which they lived.
The Israelites were told to bring a tenth of all the grain they grew and the animals they raised. In fact, if they wanted to redeem or take back their tithe, they were to add twenty percent to it (Leviticus 27:29-33). In other words, pay it back plus twenty percent when they were able to do so.
That was the Old Testament. What does Jesus say about it? He says He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In fact, He goes on to say not the smallest part of it will disappear (Matthew 5:17-19). Some argue that since He fulfilled the law, it no longer applies. That would be arguing that murdering and thieving is now no longer a sin.
Why did Jesus need to fulfill the law? First, He came to be the perfect sacrifice and needed to fulfill the law to be perfect. Second, He fulfilled the law to be a perfect example for us. True, because of His sacrifice we no longer need to sacrifice animals to remove our sin. But that doesn’t negate the rest of the law.
Ultimately, it comes down to being obedient to God. As we see in today’s passage, as we are obedient, God blesses us richly. Make no mistake, this is not buying God’s favor. Tithing is one way in which we are to be obedient. We can list many other ways we are to be obedient as well.
I pray we all commit to being obedient to God. I pray we choose to tithe out of obedience. I pray each one of us will trust God to bless us richly as we are obedient to His desires. Commit to obedience. Commit to tithing. Trust God to provide. Trust God to bless you. He won’t disappoint.
Malachi 3:10 “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.”