One of the oldest practices in the Bible that has generated a lot of debate is the issue of tithe and offering.
I will try to talk a little on tithe based on my understanding of the scriptures.
According to the Bible, tithe is the tenth part of all (Hebrew 7 : 2) “To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all;” The “all” here means the spoils (goods) that Abram brought back from the war.
The first person to pay tenth part of his goods (tithe) according to the Bible is Abraham. It is worthy to note that this act was done when the law hasn’t been given. And Abraham wasn’t forced to give it but he did it out of his own good will because it hasn’t become a commandment.
After the above incidence, it became a commandment for the children of Israel to give tenth of their goods to the Levites. And this act became a practice among the children of Israel to offer their tithes and offering. Even the Levites are to give tithe of tithes to the Lord (Numbers 18 : 26 “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.”)
At a particular time, the children of Israel weren’t doing according to the commandment of God concerning tithes and offering. And this kind of disobedience led to what was written in Malachi 3:
Mal 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
Mal 3:9 – “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation”
Mal 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The next verse talks about the blessing that will come on them once they have obediently heed to the commandment of God on tithing.
The issue of tithing was explicitly discussed in the Old Testament and was fully obeyed.
Are we to pay tithe in the New Testament?
Firstly, there is no curse on you if you don’t pay your tithe and the reason is that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us … “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ …” (Galatian 3:14-15).
That being said, if you don’t pay, you are not qualified for the blessings that follow those that pay their tithe. Let me go a little further, your tithe and offering is a way of ministering back to your pastor (1 Corinthians 9 : 11-14). In Philippians 4: 19, Paul prayed for the Church that the Lord shall supply all their needs because they ministered to the needs of Paul. This shows that there is a blessing attached to giving (Tithing and offering). When you give/pay tenth of your income to your pastor, the blessing that follows such act automatically be upon you.
Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Tithing and offering are act of giving which attract blessings. It should not be done grudgingly or of necessity but according to how individual purpose in his heart because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
In the Luke 11:42, Jesus Christ was speaking to the Pharisees “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” He didn’t say they should stop tithing but they should also excel in other righteous work i.e. right judgment, mercy, and faith.
Giving tenth part of your income to your church isn’t wrong but it shouldn’t be turned to legalism. And also there are blessings attached to it when you pay your tithe (not only tithe but giving generally).
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