Summary: The principle of tithing shows our trust of God. It shows if He (in your mind) is big enough to handle your life. His promise is that He will not only take care of us but that He will fill the barns with blessing - if we trust Him!
A. Why Now?
1. Began a Series “How do we Accomplish the Vision”
a. “Whether on Temple and even More So if on Bullsboro”
b. Part I – Last week was the importance of the Journey in that “We Must Offer God Our Best” from the example of Mary.
We considered the statement, “God does not expect us to give what we do not have but rather what we can and assuming that is our best, that is all God expects.”
c. Last week, and again Wednesday night, I told you this was coming!!
So if you are not OK now – relax – It only gets worst!!
2. Today the question: Are You Robbing God?
ILL. On Tithing:
W.A. Criswell tells of an ambitious young man who told his pastor he’d promised God a tithe of his income. They prayed for God to bless his career. At that time he was making $40.00 per week and tithing $4.00. God did just that and in a few years his income increased and he was tithing $500.00 per week.
He called the pastor to see if he could be released from his tithing promise, it was too costly now. The pastor replied, “I don’t see how you can be released from your promise, but we can ask God to reduce your income to $40.00 a week, then you’d have no problem tithing $4.00.”
B. What Are Your Beliefs on Tithing?
Q: Do you believe in “Tithing”?
1. Conservation Between God & the Israelites through Malachi.
a. The Israelites were Robbing God
b. The Israelites were Robbing Themselves
c. The Israelites were Robbing Others
2. The Question will Become: Does God Expect Us To Tithe?
I. THEY WERE ROBBING GOD (Verses 7-8)
God begins to remind them that repeatedly throughout history from the time he heard their cry and redeemed them out of slavery, they still repeatedly scorned him.
In setting up the tithe, it was a way to thank God for what He had done and to take care of the needs of the tabernacle. God, through the tithe, had a Plan for the tithe, a Purpose in the tithe, and a Place for the Tithe.
3 Parts to God’s Complaint
A. It Was God’s Plan
They were robbing God “in tithes and offerings” (8b).
1. “Tithe” comes from a Hebrew word that means “10”
- A “tithe” is 10% of one’s grain, fruit, animals, or money
Leviticus 27:30 (NIV)
30 "’A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.”
B. It Was for God’s Purpose
3 main tithes - different times of the year - 3 main purposes.
1. Needs of Priests and Levites (they were having to seek outside work)
2. Needs of the Temple and its Ministries
3. Needs of the Poor through a special annual tithe
C. It Was for God’s Specific Place
1. It was for the Local Tabernacle – their place of worship – 10
2. “storehouse”- Several large rooms for keeping the grain, produce, money
D. DOES “Grace” Cancel The Tithe?
Many say that “tithing is a Mosaic Law command and since we are now under the law of grace, we are not under the command of the tithe.” I’ve said it!
1. Abraham – Gen. 14:20 gave tithes to Melchizedek – God’s high Priest - 400 Yrs. b/fore law.
2. Jacob in Gen. 28:22 promised God to return 1/10th (10%) of all God gave him (again before the Mosaic Law).
3. Moses through the Mosaic law commanded the tithe in Lev. 28:30 “a ‘tithe’ of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the tress, belongs to the Lord”. Vs. 32 – The ‘entire tithe’ of the herd and flock – every tenth animal… will be holy to the Lord.”
4. Jesus commended the Pharisees in their tithing even though their heart was wrong in Mt. 23.23. Of course, at this time, you could say the OT law was still in effect.
5. And Paul, God’s NT spokesman, commended the “setting aside of money” for use in the church’s ministry in 1 Cor. 16.2.
Summ: So you tell me – “Is the tithe canceled out by the law of grace”.
2 Thoughts on This:
1. If Abraham & Jacob “committed” the tithe, and Moses “commanded” the tithe; If Jesus “commended” the tithe and Paul “continued” the tithe; THEN should YOU & I Cancel it?
Does not the principle of the tithe teach us that all we have comes from God? If so, WHAT does that have to do with “OT Law”?
2. If you will do less under grace than the Israelites did under the law then you and I are a disgrace to grace!