A Good Understanding About Tithing

A Good Understanding About Tithing

A Good Understanding About Tithing

Recently, we ran across the story of Marie Holmes and the lawsuit by a pastor who claimed his church was owed 10% or the tithe of her lottery winnings. In a nutshell, obviously neither Marie or the pastor are clear in their understanding of the tithe. So, let’s do a “deep dive” into the Holy Bible for a good understanding about tithing.

Origin of “tithe” as a noun or “what it is”, or verb “how it’s done”, is seen in Genesis 14:17-20. After Abram defeats the armies of four kings, he’s met and welcomed by two other kings – of Sodom and Salem. Melchizedek of Salem treats Abram, later renamed Abraham - to a banquet:

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and his allied kings, the king of Sodom came out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh, the King’s Valley. Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine—he was priest of The High God—and blessed him:

Blessed be Abram by The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
And blessed be The High God, who handed your enemies over to you.

Abram gave him a tenth of all the recovered plunder.  Genesis 17-20 

Throughout the Old Testament, tithing is seen as returning to Jehovah God a tenth of plunder from war by a victorious king - as best seen by David, or personal earnings as best seen by Jacob – later renamed Israel. The last book of the Old Testament reveals God’s approval and promise about tithing in Malachi’s ever often quoted prophecy:

10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10-12 English Standard Version

Given humankind’s history of hard times for most people, here in century twenty-one, God’s promise in Malachi is as warmly treasured for economic relief as ever. So, as arguably appears the case of an ambitious pastor, it’s easy and tempting to think of tithing as another way to “make” some money.

Age of Law: Mind you, there’re people who believe tithing was only for Old Testament times, and suggest it is voluntary in this age of grace. Time for a quick review. The Old Testament covers the Age of (Mosaic) Law – summarized in the Ten Commandments given to the prophet Moses by Jehovah God, as opposed to the:  

Age of Grace: God came to live among us in the physical body of his son - Jesus. Jesus’ death paid the full price to prevent eternal banishment in Hell for humankind and ushered in this current age of grace. But it’s also crucial to recall Jesus said:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Matthew 5:17,18

So as far as tithing is concerned - can it get any clearer than that? Personally, I’ve an idea it's best to debunk tithing as “giving to God” and instead see tithing as "a return" to Jehovah God the 10% cut of what’s already his! After all, far as his will is concerned – the day will come we’ll all breathe our last breath - puff, and it’s all gone. And what good is any amount of money then?

Most importantly, how exactly do we “bring the full tithe into the storehouse”? That question prompts a big reason to know God is Lord Jesus Christ. See, in this age of grace he lives in his own and why: … the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! Matthew 25:40. LNT    

Well getting back to 188M Powerball Winner Marie Holmes. From reports of her generosity to the tune of millions, is it at all possible she’s already paid, or well on her way to paying the tithe for her plunder? Seems to me – she and a pastor eyeing her “plunder” and the Court to boot - need a real good understanding about tithing. 

Well, what’s your opinion?
Maranatha, 
Carlton
PS: Remember to:
1. Read the Holy Bible daily. Still the best news for your entire day!
2. Send us your comments, questions, observations, or even reservations!

One Comment

  1. Mel

    A little confused because I am not sure if 10% or 12% or whatever is ‘tithed’ is all inclusive. I mean that the sum of all my giving to ministry is what makes up the percent. Often a church will say to give the tithe to them and then additional money for outside ministries.
    I would like to return to God through ministries and missions rather than just a church building. What about that?

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