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Bible verses about tithing teach us the ways we can give our tithes and why it matters to our Christian faith.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding tithing. First of all, it is often falsely used interchangeably with an offering. Secondly, most of us think it is optional. Thirdly, we think that any amount is acceptable.
The following Bible verses about tithing will clarify the biblical definition of tithing and its significance in our Christian lives.
What are Bible Verses about Tithing?
Tithes are not to be confused with an offering. An offering is given out of one’s generosity and free will while a tithe is an obligation. It was introduced as God’s law in the Old Testament, an expression of gratitude for God’s provisions.
Bible verses about tithing clarify the common misconceptions about the act. It is not to be mistaken as an offering, but an obligation to the Creator of all things good. Tithing teaches us to detach from money and material things and to be generous in giving.
What is tithing?
The literal meaning of tithe is tenth. It represents the fraction that we are obliged to give to God or the church. As instructed by the High God, we are to give every tenth animal and a tenth of all the produce.
The concept of tithing goes way back to the time of Moses. It was part of God’s law and Israelites were obliged to give a tenth of their harvest and livestock. Sometimes, tithing is defined in the Bible as giving the best, or the firstfruits, of what we have.
In Christian communities today, tithing is still encouraged but not religiously practiced. This is because we don’t give 10% of what we own, so technically, it could not be considered a tithe.
What Does the Bible Say about Tithing?
According to the Bible, we are obliged to tithe as a recognition that everything belongs to God. The first tithe was given by Abraham to Melchisedec, attributing his victory to God, and displaying gratitude and humility.
Bible Verses about Tithing
Bible verses about tithing in the Old Testament
“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.”
This verse tells us that we give honor to God by giving back the firstfruits of all the produce. This means giving the best of what we have. It shows our gratitude to God for bestowing upon us so much blessing. In return, He will bless us abundantly.
“Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.”
These Bible verses about tithing reiterate giving the best of our gains and in return, God promises abundant harvest in the following years. The Lord God loves us and rewards those who remember Him in abundance.
“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.”
The Bible reminds us that tithing is an obligation and should not be done only when we want to. Tithing must be practiced regularly without miss or hesitance.
“At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”
Since all our resources come from God, we must use them for the greater glory of the Lord Almighty. What better way to do this than to dedicate to charity. Remember that God blesses a cheerful giver.
“And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
These Bible verses about tithing tell of the very first tithe, which was given by Abraham. He attributed his victory to the High God and gave a tenth of what he possessed.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 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. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”
The phrase “Will a mere mortal rob God” was used to emphasize that everything ultimately belongs to God. So when we hold back from giving tithes and offerings, we are not giving what is due. It shows our attachment toward material things, depriving us of the heavenly wealth that awaits us.
Bible verses about tithing in the New Testament
In the New Testament, Christ Jesus talks about the proper ways to give tithes. He emphasized through His parable how our right hand must not see the work of our left hand. Meaning, that good deeds that are done in secret and in humility are much more blessed than those done publicly.
Jesus also reminds us that our intentions in giving must be pure. If we are diligent with our tithes but fail to practice faith and justice, then the act loses its substance.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
These Bible verses about tithing are powerful. It says that we ought to not neglect justice, mercy, and faith even when we give our tithes and offerings. Our tithing loses its substance when not paired with acts of faith and compassion.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
The Bible teaches us that giving of tithes and offerings is not to be used for show. When we receive praises from publicly giving tithes and alms, our heavenly reward is forfeited. The praises we received become the reward itself.
“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
The Lord Jesus taught His disciples by setting the poor widow as an example of a cheerful giver. Since tithing is measured in percentage, giving 100% of a penny is ultimately bigger than 10% of the gold and silver that the rich people threw.
Bible verses about tithing when you can
Why should Christians tithe when they can? There are Bible verses about tithing found both in the Old Testament and the New Testament about this.
“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.”
In St. Luke’s verses, he tells us that the tithes and offerings we give will return to us in full and overflowing measure.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
This verse is a beautiful reminder that we came to the world naked and shall leave naked. And so we must refrain attachment from earthly possessions. Instead, we must aim for divine wealth.
Why Does Tithing Matter?
How much we give and our intentions in giving reveal the size of our faith. Holding back from giving shows that we do not trust that God will provide for our needs. Thus, we keep a portion for ourselves.
When the people of Israel gave abundantly the tithe of everything, it reflected how big their faith is. Tithing is rightfully giving back to the One who has given us everything that we own. Without God’s providence, we would have to earn and work hard even just for our place on earth.
But tithing is not restricted to giving to the church alone. Giving to charities, to the poor and needy, and helping strangers also count as tithing.
What Tithing Teaches Us
It takes a good amount of faith and humility to give without worrying if we ever run out of resources. Giving tithes means we believe that God will provide for our needs in the years to come. It shows the size of our faith and the humility to acknowledge that none of what we own truly belongs to us.
Contentment is a gift borne of detachment from materialism. In the Old Testament, God’s people faithfully brought their tithes and offerings to God’s house without hesitance.
Like the poor widow, the Lord Almighty blesses a cheerful giver. On the other hand, he who turns a blind eye to those in need receives many a curse. Such sacrifices are promised a reward that is beyond earthly wealth and recognition.
Tithing is a good reminder for us to detach from our earthly possessions. Instead, we must seek the heavenly promise of eternal life that awaits us. When we fully understand the transience of money and material things, it would make giving easier.
In perspective, 10% is a small amount to give compared to God’s mercy. We owe this fraction to Him and it does not even amount to 10% of Lord Jesus’ sufferings for the sake of our salvation.
God loves us enough to make His Only Son a living sacrifice for our salvation. In the same way that the poor widow surrendered everything to faith, we must also place our trust in our Heavenly Father’s divine providence.
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