Summary: What the Bible has to say about thithing.
Tithing! A Clue, A Choice, or A Command? Malachi 3:6-10
Introduction: Army firing range in basic training.
One thing I quickly learned, if you want to get off the firing range unharmed you listen carefully to the instructions of the instructor & do exactly what he says.
Can you imagine what life would be like if we listened to the instructions of God & did exactly what he said?
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.
That’s exactly the message of Malachi to Israel...Obey God & be blessed in a great way!
Malachi 3:6-12 Robbing God
6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, ’How are we to return?’
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, ’How do we rob you?’ "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. 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 you will not have room enough for it.
Malachi was a prophet who spoke to God’s people after their return to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. Most likely he was a contemporary of Nehemiah.
The words of Malachi are a reminder of God’s love & faithfulness.... but there’s also a rebuke of willful disobedience in the area of the tithe! God had an issue w/ His people! His people were disobedience....His people were thieves.
It’s one thing to disobey God.... yet another to steel from Him! Only a fool would steel from the sovereign Lord!
Here in Malachi 3 God’s people were guilty of both!
Just what is the tithe? The word tithe in Hebrew means “tenth”.
In God’s economy He requires a tithe as a matter of fact He says in...
Leviticus 27:30 ’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
-A tithe is 10% of your income given to God for His purposes. -A tithe is merely a portion of what God has already giving to you! -The tithe was instituted in the OT & embraced in the NT.
For example OT before the law:
-Genesis 14 ....Abraham gave a tenth to the priest Mel-chiz-edek.
-Genesis 28 ...Jacob pledges to give God a tenth of all that he receives.
OT During the law:
- The Israelites were required to give a tithe to the Levites. Num. 18:21, 24
- The tithe was taken from things like grain, fruits, & animals. Lev. 27:30-32
-16 of the 38 parables of Jesus deal w/ money
-288 verse in the Gospels deal w/ money
-Jesus spoke more on the topic of money than he did heaven & hell combined.
-There’re 2000 verse on money in the Bible & only 500 on prayer & 500 on faith
- Paul taught it. I Corinthians 16:2
Our relationship to Money is very important to God!
Now I am not going to get into the debate of tithing being an OT & Jewish obligation thus not applicable to Christians today! I personally believe that the New Testament embraces, teaches & calls for obedience in the area of giving to God & others.
But unfortunately just as in Malachi day many are guilty of disobedience & thief!
Many Christian today are steeling from God! Ironically they steel from themselves, God’s blessing, provision, protection thus hindering their relationship w/ God!
Quote: The average church member contributes between 1.5% and 2.5% of his total income specifically to the Lord’s work.
Quote: The cost of obedience is nothing compared to the cost of disobedience.
What’s the big deal about tithing? Does it matter? Does it make a difference? Does God expect me to give a tithe of my income?
Well in an attempt too answer these questions consider the following...
When we are faithful & obedient in tithing: Several things take place.
1. We provide the resources for God’s work.
It’s an amazing thought but God has allowed...invites...& expects His children to be involved in kingdom work through their giving!
We see this truth throughout scripture......
Matthew 23:23 Jesus commends the Pharisees .....“you tithe & that you ought”, Jesus
Luke 6:38 Jesus said.... give & it shall be given unto you!
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul says when you come together you are to take a collection!