When I was shown in the word that I had robbed God, I was shocked. I knew I was to put some money in the plate when it was passed each Sunday, but I didn't know God viewed me as a thief.  Yet in the book of Malachi, God speaks through his prophet;

"Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?  In tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3:8).

I was a thief because I was not obeying God in my giving.  Reading on in verses 9-11,

"Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

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.

And  I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground;  neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts".

We bring curses upon ourselves if we do not give as God directs.

So, what is a tithe?  The book of Leviticus lists the laws that God gave his people through Moses and while the law was nailed to the cross, tithing was defined.  Chapter 27, verse 30 states,

"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord." 

And in verse 32, "And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord."

In 2nd Chronicles 31:5, it also states that the children of Israel brought in the first fruits of their crops and herds and in the last part of the verse it says,

"...and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly."

Lest you say, I am not a farmer or rancher so I don't have any first fruits to tithe, these verses instruct that the tithe was on all things

When Abram was returning from the slaughter of the kings where he rescued Lot, he brought back all the goods of spoil and he gave tithes of them all (Genesis 14:20).  This is also recounted in Hebrews 7:1-2,

"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all..."

So I saw that a tithe was not just 10% of my net salary after tax witholdings, but was 10% of my gross salary, plus 10% of ALL my assets (house, automobiles, etc.).   Plus God wanted an offering, which is any amount that you give in excess of the tithe (over and above 10%).

Why do we have to tithe?   First of all, all the silver, gold and the fullness of the earth belong unto the Lord anyway.  It is not ours, but His to give as He wills.  If we cannot give 10, 20, 30%, etc. back to him, then we will never receive the fullness of His blessings.

In Luke 16, verses 10-13, Jesus instructs,

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:  and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."

"If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (money) who will commit to your trust the true riches?"

"And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?"

"No servant can serve two masters:  for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

While it can be painful to the soul to give in obedience to God, it is His mercy on our lives that we even have anything to tithe on.  And it is not a sacrifice to give as it doesn't belong to us anyway. In 1st Samuel 15:22-23, Samuel states,

"...Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry..."

So not only was I a thief, but by not giving in obedience to God, I was involved in witchcraft, idolatry and full of iniquity.

So, how do I know how much to give?   Well, you know it will be at least 10% of all for just the tithe, plus an offering.

How do I know where to give or to whom? Jesus stated in John 10:27;

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"

The writer of Hebrews in describing the new covenant that God made with his people (through Jesus) stated in chapter 8, verse 11, that

"...Know the Lord:  for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

Through Jesus, we can all know the Father and His will by humbling ourselves and hearing the voice of Jesus.  When we are born again, Jesus becomes our Lord and shepherd and we can hear his voice, including what to give and where to give it.  Paul states that the workman is worthy of his wages and that we should give to those who instruct us in the word.  Give as he directs and blessings will follow for obedience.  Read Deuteronomy chapter 28.  Verses 1-14 list the blessings for hearkening unto the Lord and verses 15-68 list the curses for not hearing and obeying God.

When I realized I had to tithe on all, I lamented that I didn't have enough to give to make up for all of the past income and assets that I didn't tithe on and therefore brought curses upon myself.  God forgives us of our sins when we repent and He will then cause us to give so that our blessings will increase and we can give more and more.  The total percentage will increase based on current income and assets and past tithes will be caught up.

Where will these increases come from?  Jesus said in 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."

We don't get first and then give. We give in obedience and then men shall give unto you.  The blessings from God will come through men.  You will receive unexpected business opportunities, raises, bonuses, etc. as God moves on men on your behalf.

I have many needs (not to mention wants) and I cannot afford to give much.

We cannot afford to not give.  Give as God directs, He knows your wants and needs.  For Jesus instructed us in Matthew 6:31-34,

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?"

"(For all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow:  for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.   Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Again, it is not how much you give, but that you give in obedience as God directs.  In Mark chapter 12, Jesus is sitting against the treasury and observed how people put money into the treasury.  The rich cast in much and a poor widow cast in little.  Jesus called his disciples and said in verses 43-44,

"...Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:"

"For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."

The rich cast in large amounts (i.e., many dollars) but it was a small percentage of their abundance.  The widow cast in all that she had.  Now that is a tithe and offering!

There are so many people, ministries, worthy causes that are asking for money, I don't know where to give.

Again, give where God directs.  People, groups of people, etc., that are asking for money are appealing to the wrong person for their money. They are beggars with outstretched hands.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6, that we are to;

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

Seek the kingdom of God and He will move on men to supply your needs.  We are not to give to supply another persons needs, but rather, we give in obedience to God and He will bless others through us just as he causes men to bless us.

Paul writing in 2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 instructs us,

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:  for God loveth a cheerful giver."

Rejoice when God puts it in your heart to give for obedience brings blessing.

Curses are passed down to us from the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:7).  Jesus broke these curses when he was raised from the dead, if we can just believe it.  Curses also come upon us for our own disobedience including not giving with a pure heart.  These curses are broken by being obedient with the things God has given us.  God tries (proves) us with giving to see if we can turn loose of the blessings he gives us.  (Remember, all things belong to Him anyway).  We will prove to Him and ourselves that we love God more than money and things, if we give as He directs.  Then, when we are obedient, He will cause the blessing to overtake us (Deuteronomy 28:2).


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