Is Tithing Required? 1 - Strolling Through History


The topic of tithing is somewhat mysterious, because the Bible doesn’t specifically say it’s required under the New Covenant. Therefore, since it’s human nature to resist giving away money or possessions, people tend to seek a loophole releasing from the burden of tithing. If tithing is done reluctantly or out of obligation, then it may as well not be done at all, because God loves a cheerful giver.


Let’s take a stroll through history and check out the origin of tithing. Long before Jacob moved to Egypt, he chose to give a tenth of his increase to God. His dad sent him to find a wife in a far away land, and while en route to Padan-aram, the Lord spoke to him in a dream. He told Jacob the land where he was currently sleeping, will belong to him and his descendants, which was from the same covenant he made with Abraham.


Jacob was grateful to the Lord and wanted to give back. The Lord hadn't commanded him to do this, rather he chose to honor the Lord by his own freewill. This isn’t the first tithe recorded in the Bible, Abraham gave a tenth of his recovered plunder to Melchizedek. It is somewhat of a mystery who Melchizedek is, but apparently he was never born and never died, and is a forever priest of God.


Abraham’s nephew was captured as the result of a war, so Abraham set out to rescue him. He conquered the army of Kedorlaomer, and besides rescuing Lot, he acquired abundant plunder. The odds of winning the battle was way against Abraham, so he went forth against great odds by faith, knowing he would only have success by God blessing his efforts.


Apparently, these two men realized they were partners with God, knowing their success depended on him. They chose to bless him from blessings he bestowed upon them. God made it clear to both men he is the only true God, all others are lifeless idols, generally the result of demonic deception.


Later on, after Israel became established, it was law that the Israelites should tithe. They were instructed to take the tithe to their place of worship. God originally set up the tithing practice as a way for them to feast in his presence. And, since the Levites did not own any land, part of the tithe went to them, because they served as priests to God’s.


As centuries passed, the Israelites drifted away from God, didn't appreciate him as previous generations had. They may have still recognized the Sabbath, but no longer pursued or valued a relationship with God. It was like they forgot he was the source of their blessings, and in turn, allowed the practice of tithing to slip away. They had become complacent, as new generations enjoyed the wealth and comforts left from previous generations, they seemingly no longer appreciated or realized their blessings were from God.


“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!

Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

Mal 3:8-12 NLT




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