Tithing (Giving?)

The Bible unequivocally encourages giving! 

A deep expression of ‘charity’ (love) is when we think of others first. Giving from our first fruits to God, the community and the poor and needy connects very deeply with Biblical context concerning the philosophy of giving.

If we are talking about giving from our first fruits this ‘philosophically’ means giving anything that is fruit in your life, this includes possessions, money and skills, all of which are a kind of fruit because they have involved prior investment. Ie. Investment = fruit; enables giving. So when we give of the 'first fruits', we first serve God, the community and the poor before looking after number one. Similarly, if it is 'money fruit' (profits) we give first from that also.

Tithing predates Mosaic Law!

On tithing, the Mosaic (Old Testament) tithe was over 20%, on account of the fact that there were two annual tithes of 10% and a tertiary tithe every third year; which equates to 22-23%. Mosaic (Old Testament) tithing manifests through the farming community. One tithed from what was grown and what was raised from flocks and herds. Those who were not of the farming community would pay the yearly half shekel at Passover. However, Abraham tithed to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18). Importantly Melchizadek is a direct typology of Jesus Christ (New Testament of course), and Abraham gave tithes plural, more than once. 

Fields?

Let’s be real about what a field represents; yes obviously a farmer's land is one example. However, a field in real terms is simply a place where produce and gain emerges from some input (seed). So in reality a field is our 'field of expertise' or our employment whether working for a company or self employment.

Storehouse

While the Bible does not say we are to give our entire offering to our local church or church pastor it does say we must not rob God through not tithing. We must bring it into the store house! So we need to think about what a ‘storehouse' is and what it is for and who is in charge of it. Farmers have their own storehouses and other organisations have storehouses too, like charities, churches and government. We pay the government through our taxation so we could say that we are fulfilling the governmental / earthy kingdom storehouse to feed: schools, NHS healthcare, police, fire, highways, healthcare, help for Universal Credit, child benefit and so on.

The other storehouses by default must be the local community that is not governmentally funded, these could include soup kitchens, church centres, missionaries, Bible export for mission, your local home group. Interestingly, this can also include your own mission or gospel work and even feasting and festivals created by you for family, friends and community. So this concept of tithing is really about seed and love, if we take the risk and trust that seed does what it says it does on the packet it will produce growth, blessing and development.

Local Church means the household of fatih? 

The Bible teaches us that we should support our local gathering and we see this in Paul’s dealing with the early church. There is a sense in which we are to be present and mindful with our money, and certainly to not to lie and make out we are giving more than we are or that a particular gift is only partial when we have declared that it is total (Ananias and Sapphira story in Acts 5) 

"Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:6-10)

Jewish ministries. 

"At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.” (Romans 15:25-27)

Testing God

To reiterate, we are called to give to others as we are led to give. This ties into an evidence of love and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Ultimately God actaully wants us to test Him in his outpouring of prosperous love for us through giving and tithing (Malachi 3:10). 

"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.

Read on to explore Gods principles and culture concerning tithes and giving!

If you follow My statutes and carefully observe My commandments, (Leviticus 26:3)

Thus any tithe from the land, whether from the seed of the land or the fruit of the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. (Leviticus 27:30)

Behold, I have given to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work they do, the service of the Tent of Meeting. (Numbers 18:21)

To that place you are to bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and heave offerings, your vow offerings and freewill offerings, as well as the firstborn of your herds and flocks. (Deuteronomy 12:6)

You must be sure to set aside a tenth of all the produce brought forth each year from your fields. (Deuteronomy 14:22)

Then the Levite (because he has no portion or inheritance among you), the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates may come and eat and be satisfied. And the LORD your God will bless you in all the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 14:29)

But the officer on whose arm the king leaned answered the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," replied Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it.” (2 Kings 7:2)

and Azariah, the chief priest of the household of Zadok, answered him, "Since the people began to bring their contributions into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and there is plenty left over, because the LORD has blessed His people; this great abundance is what is left over.” (2 Chronicles 31:10)

and all Judah brought a tenth of the grain, new wine, and oil into the storerooms. (Nehemiah 13:12)

Yet He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of the heavens. Psalm 78:23)

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your harvest; (Proverbs 3:9)

I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing. I will send down showers in their season--showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26)

The best of all the firstfruits and of every contribution from all your offerings will belong to the priests. You are to give your first batch of dough to the priest, so that a blessing may rest upon your homes. (Ezekiel 44:30)

"On that day I will respond--" declares the LORD--"I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth. (Hosea 2:21)

And the LORD answered His people: "Behold, I will send you grain, new wine, and oil, and by them you will be satisfied. I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. (Joel 2:19)

The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. (Joel 2:24)

Is there still seed in the barn? The vine, the fig, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yet yielded fruit. But from this day on, I will bless you.” (Haggai 2:19).

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