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. – Malachi 3:10
Last week, at two different times, I happened upon the Scripture passage above.
The first time was in a devotional book, in which the study for the day focused on joy through generosity.
The second was during a David Jeremiah sermon entitled “Seven Reasons Why I Tithe” (linked here).
In both instances, the author or speaker mentioned that Malachi 3:10 is the only Scripture containing a challenge from God to prove one of his promises.
Perhaps God issued this challenge because he knew some of us might need a bit of extra prodding in the area of giving.
While tithing naysayers point out that the New Testament contains no specific command to give ten percent of one’s gross earnings, Christ does emphasize giving generously.
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. – Luke 6:38
When he gave, he gave all, did he not?
And he expressly honored those who gave sacrificially.
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. – Luke 21:1-4
In the wisdom-packed book of Proverbs, we are also asked to give the first and best part of our income, not what is left over after we pay for our own needs and wants.
Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. – Proverbs 3:9-10
Along with examples of generous giving, I also studied a bit about the background of tithing. According to Hebrews 7, even Abraham tithed – long before the Jewish nation existed and the Mosaic law was enacted.
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace. – Hebrews 7:2
It seems that tithing did not have its roots in the Mosaic law (to which we are not bound), but was performed by followers of Jehovah long before the existence of that law.
More intriguing still!
My brief study of tithing reinforced what God has proven to my family many times through the years: honor God by giving at least as much as Abraham gave, and he will take care of you, sometimes in miraculous or mysterious ways.
My grandmother once told me about one of her experiences with tithing. I recall that she told me that she had to choose between paying an important bill (I believe it was the power bill) and tithing. She did not have enough money in her checking account to do both.
Not without trepidation, she wrote her tithe check and prayed that God would prove himself faithful and provide her needs.
Shortly after, she received an anonymous financial gift in the amount needed to pay her power bill.
Never again did she doubt!
What are your thoughts on tithing or giving? Have you proven God’s faithfulness in this way before?