Tithing ĖIs It Really That Important?
I want to talk to you tonight about a very important aspect of your Christian walk, tithing.
As people of God it is Important for you to learn early in your walk with Christ the importance of tithing in your relationship with God. Tithing opens doors with God, that you as a believer need to stay open to successfully live a Christian life.
God is raising up this generation of people for a very specific reason and as you grow and mature in the Lord you need to have good foundational teachings to stand on in your Christian life. The future is perilous, we are entering the end times, before Christ comes and as a child of God, you have to know how to live and live righteously before God, to have dominion over Satan in your life.
Letís look in depth into tithing, as a basic principle of life for a child of God.
Tithe is defined as the practice of giving a tenth or 10% of your money or property as an offering unto God.
To understand tithing fully and the reason God set it up as an act of obedience we need to take a short walk through the history of the nation of Israel.
(The history of Israel Ė the Tinsley Baker version.)
The first incidence of paying tithes is recorded in the Book of Genesis when Abram (Abraham) paid them to the priest of the most High God.
Genesis 14:18-20: "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.
This event took place when Abram went with his mighty men and rescued Lot from several pagan Kings who had fought against the Kings of Sodom and Gomorra and been defeated. These pagan kings took Abramís nephew Lot and his family captive. After Abram had defeated these kings, he took war prizes of all they had stolen, gold and goods and it made him very rich. As he was returning, He was met by the Priest of God and Abram paid tithes to him in recognition of Godís help and strength in battle.
It was something Abram did, remember Abram or Abraham was known as Godís Friend and he talked with God continually. He knew what was expected of him in his worship of God.
Tithing is a principle that God established early in Hebrew and Christian history. It is something we have always been expected to do. It has never changed from the time Abram paid the first tithes to Melchizedek to now.
Let's jump ahead several Generations.
Abram who later became Abraham had a son named Isaac.
Isaac had a son named Jacob. This is where we are really going to start.
Jacob had twelve sonís:
Ruben Simeon Levi
Judah Zebulum Issachar
Dan Gad Asher
Naphtali Joseph Benjamin
At one point in Jacobís life God changed his name to Israel.
Joseph was despised by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt at a young age, but through the mercy and plan of God was raised up as a leader of Egypt, who was shown by God of a coming famine and how to prepare for it. This is very important, because Jacobís family was severely affected by the famine and had to go Egypt for food.
Abraham and all his twelve sons with their families settled in Egypt. Each son had wives and children and grew so large that each son eventually became know as the Tribe of Judah for example rather than individual families. Eventually Abraham, Joseph and all the other brothers died and their descendents and the children of Israel became slaves.
The children of Israel, made up of the tribes of the 12 brothers, were in slavery for 500 years.
God raised Moses up as leader to lead the children of Israel out of bondage and into freedom. When they left Egypt, they crossed the Red Sea and stopped at Mount Sinai, where God called Moses up the mountain for 40 days and nights and gave Moses the Ten Commandments which is the basis for all the laws God gave Moses at that time. God was establishing Israel as a nation and a nation must have laws to govern it, or there will be anarchy. God gave Moses all the laws needed for this new nation to govern itself down to the proper way to bury a body, everything was covered.
What has this to do with tithing? A lot is the answer.
Exodus 28:1 "1. "Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron's sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar."
Aaron and Moses were of the tribe of Levi, they were Levites.
Exodus 30:30: "30. "And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests."
The remainder of the Levites were also called to service to God.
Numbers 1:48-51: "48. for the Lord had spoken to Moses, saying:
49. "Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor take a census of them among the children of Israel;
50. "but you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its furnishings, and over all things that belong to it; they shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they shall attend to it and camp around the tabernacle.
So the whole tribe of Levites were called to serve the Lord.
Letís jump ahead one generation, Moses and the first generation were not allowed to go into the Promised Land, know then as the land of Canaan. They had been sinful and disobedient from the beginning, (we all know this story.). So the only men left of that generation were Joshua and Caleb. Joshua was Moses right hand man and the one God raised up to lead the Nation of Israel.
Joshua led the people to cross the Jordan River and defeat the city of Jericho, which was
The beginning of the taking of Promised land.
So, after the children entered the Promised Land, it was divided into sections, with each tribe getting a part of the Land as decided by God.
But the Levites did not get a piece or part of the Land. Why?
Numbers 18:20: "20. Then the Lord said to Aaron: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel."
God and serving God was the Levites portion. They did not inherit a specific place in the land but were scattered among the tribes to serve God and be available to the people, for the Levites, the priests stood between God and the people, they were the intercessors and servants who served God and led the people in worship. They were also responsible for teaching the people the laws and covenant promises of God.
So how did the Levites survive, where did they get food and money?
Numbers 18:21-26: "21. "Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.
22. "Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
23. "But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
24. "For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, `Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.' ''
25. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
26. "Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: `When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe."
So God set up tithing from the people to support the Levites.
How does this affect of today? Pastor John is a modern day Levite. He is a person called to be a servant of God. He has been called to serve God, led other to God and teach you the ways of God. He has a big responsibility, it is not a frivolous task he has been called to perform. It is not just some job he chose to make a living by. It is what he was ordained to do by God before the World was made.
Each of us has a destiny chosen by God. It is important for you to grow up as a Christian to learn what your destiny is.
James 3:1: " My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."
But God will also hold you responsible for how you treat and respect your Pastors and teachers, or any Pastor or leader that God has put in place to teach you. We are to respect them, learn from them and most important support Them. This means spiritually, morally, physically, mentally and financially.
Pastors are paid by the Church. The church gets itís money from tithes and offerings. It is that simple.
So let's review and look and why we tithe.
Proverbs: 3:9-10: "9. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; 10. so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine."
Numbers 18:26: "26. "Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: `When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe."
Malachi 3:10: "10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,'' says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it."
Bills have to be paid, church grounds have to be mowed, the church has to be cleaned, painted, repaired, the staff has to be paid. If we are not obedient and pay our tithes, then the church as a whole suffers.
As a believer, you should never enter the church of God without bring something to bless God with. No matter how small, you always give, because God gave the ultimate gift for you His son Jesus.
Malachi 3:8-12: "8. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, `In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
9. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,'' says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,'' says the Lord of hosts;
God promises to bless us if we are obedient in all our ways.
Deuteronomy. 30:19: "19. "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"
We choose life, the life we receive in Christ Jesus. A life of joy, peace and prosperity, but it requires a choice of obedience in all we do.
I want to close with this. Every Sunday over our tithes and offerings in the main sanctuary we quote a blessing, letís look at that and we will see how we are blessed in our tithing.
I ask you today, search your heart, if you are truly committed to God and his ways then decide to give and start you walk of obedience today with tithing.