I think our concept of tithing loses much of the original emphasis, which was to bring back to the Lord ten percent of the covenant blessings we have received from Him. The Lord’s commandment was to bring the tithe of our produce to the Temple and feast on it in His presence. I want that restored to our thinking. Make it a goal to spend ten percent of your time in the Lord’s presence, feasting on His Word, rejoicing over the blessings He has given you. That is a true tithe.
God made a covenant with Abraham to bless him and make him wealthy, and Abraham gave a tenth of his wealth back to God. The Lord also met Jacob, made a covenant with him, and blessed him. Jacob responded by promising to bring a tenth of his blessing back to God. The tithe therefore began as a sign of the covenant the patriarchs made with the Lord. It was not an obligation; it was an expression of the relationship they had with Him.
Later on God made a covenant with the descendants of Jacob, and He commanded them to bring the tithe of their produce to the place He chose to establish His name. There they were to eat of their produce in the presence of the Lord and rejoice in the blessings of their covenant with Him. Again, this was a sign of the covenant, an expression of their relationship with God. Our concept of tithing is different. We tend to think of it as an obligation or something we do to get God’s blessings. We have lost this idea of it being an expression of our intimate relationship with Him.
God is determined to have you in His presence. That is what the tithe was about. It was not about the grain, the new wine, and the oil. It was not about the money. The purpose was to be in His presence. He was saying, “Come to Me and rejoice with Me. Bring your thankfulness to Me. Spend your time with Me.” And I think we can renew that sense by tithing of our time. Bring your time to the Lord. Take 10% of your day and spend it in His presence as a sign of your covenant with Him in response to the blessings He has given you.
- Genesis 14:18-23. “He gave him a tenth of all.”
- Genesis 28:12-22. “Of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
- Hebrews 9:14-15. “Those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
- Deuteronomy 14:22-29. “You shall eat in the presence of the LORD … the tithe.”
- Deuteronomy 12:5-7. “There you shall bring your … tithes … you and your households shall eat before the LORD.”
- Deuteronomy 6:4-5. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
- Deuteronomy 12:17-18. “You shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings.”
- “We can have these concepts of finance in today’s world that can really take away from the intimacy and the meaningfulness of what the tithe was and is to be all about. I like bringing it back to its origins with the patriarchs and this idea of blessing and intimacy and relationship rather than being something else we must do because of a requirement.”
- “Now He has made a covenant with us, grafted us into this covenant that began with Abraham. So we too in our tithes should come into His presence and rejoice before Him, with all our families. We should rejoice in all our undertakings in which the Lord our God has blessed us”
- “Lord, help us to learn what true tithing is all about, and begin to enter your presence with thankfulness, with rejoicing, as a sign that we serve You and You alone.”
- Tithes are brought as a sign of our covenant with the Lord. It is not a requirement or a law. It is the response of our hearts to the blessings of the covenant and an expression of our personal intimate relationship with God.
- The Lord commanded that you come with your tithes and feast with Him in His presence. You did not put your tithe in an offering plate, you ate your tithe in the presence of God and rejoiced in the blessings of your covenant with Him.
- The greatest blessing that God gives us is time. Therefore, let us bring the tithe of our time to Him, spending ten percent of our time in His presence to say, with thankfulness, “You are the Lord who provided everything for us through the promises and blessings, and now we return a tenth as a sign and a symbol that we serve You only as our God.”