Summary: Many have said that tithing has been done away with, and that it is for the Old Covenant only. They say it has no part of the New Covenant, and that it is legalistic and holds us in bondage. I would like to take a look at this from a Biblical perspective,
Many have said that tithing has been done away with, and that it is for the Old Covenant only. They say it has no part of the New Covenant, and that it is legalistic and holds us in bondage. I would like to take a look at this from a Biblical perspective, and try to see the truth of God’s Word and find out, why the tithe?
Let’s start by defining tithe. According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word ma`aser translated tithe means a tenth.
In the New Testament the word dekate
feminine of GSN1182; a tenth, i.e. as a percentage or (technically) tithe:
KJV--tenth (part), tithe.
W. E. Vines says this - Transliterated: apodekateuo
Text: "to give tithes," in Luke 18:12 (some texts have No. 2).\ Note: Heb. 7:4-9 shows the superiority of the Melchizedek priesthood to the Levitical, in that (1) Abraham, the ancestor of the Levites, paid "tithes" to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20); (2) Melchizedek, whose genealogy is outside that of the Levites, took "tithes" of Abraham, the recipient himself of the divine promises; (3) whereas death is the natural lot of those who receive "tithes," the death of Melchizedek is not recorded; (4) the Levites who received "tithes" virtually paid them through Abraham to Melchizedek.
I don’t want to bore you with definitions, however it is important to understand the meaning of something before we talk about it. Let’s start at the beginning. You can read the entire 14th chapter of Genesis to get the whole story but because of space I will start at vs.18. Abraham was at war with the regional kings. After the battle and Abraham’s victory, as he was on his way back in the King’s Valley, something happened.
Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19. And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20. And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’’ And he gave him a tithe of all.
Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek who was a type of the coming Christ.
Hebrews 5:6 As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’’;
It is important to note that throughout the Bible the first time something is mentioned it is commonly called the law of first mention. This section of Scripture here in Genesis 14 is the first time tithing is mentioned. The reason that this is important is because it establishes a precedent in the Word of God. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek over 400 years before the law was established. My question is, who told Abraham to tithe to Melchizedek? There is no mention that anyone told him to do it. He was certainly under no compulsion or coercion to do this. There was no law to command Him to do this yet was there? Did he do this of his own volition? I believe Abraham did this to show honor to God as an act of worship through Melchizedek, who as we have seen was a type of our coming High
Priest, Jesus Christ. I believe this is relevant because in our day and time many are saying that the tithe was done away at the time of the New Covenant.
Jesus said this…
John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.’’
Abraham worshiped God as an act of his free will. God thought it was significant enough to have it recorded in the Scripture for posterity. If worshiping God with a tenth of his spoils was not that big of a deal, then why was it mentioned? Because, worshiping God as an act of our free will and not because we are commanded to do so is a big deal. Did Abraham have to tithe, no he did not. Did God bless him because of his honoring Him first? Yes, He absolutely did! God always blesses those who honor Him first.
John 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
Are we really worshiping from our heart in spirit and in truth if we are doing it legalistically? I don’t see how we can. If we are only doing it as a legalistic act, where’s the true worship that the Father is seeking? There is another mention of Melchizedek in the book of Psalms that is very enlightening, let’s take a look at it.
Psalms 110:3 Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. 4. The Lord has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’’ 5. The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.