BASIC VERSE: (Malachi 3:9-10).
You are struck by the curse, And you deceive me, The whole nation! 10 God said, “Bring into the storehouse or (treasury house ) all the tithes, that there may be food in my house; Test me therefore, says the LORD of hosts. And you will see if I do not open the windows of heaven for you, if I do not pour out blessings on you in abundance. 11 As for you, I will rebuke the devourer, and he will not destroy the fruits of the earth for you, nor will the vine be barren in your fields, says the LORD of hosts.
Bible Verse (Leviticus 27:30)
Every tithe of the land, whether of the crops of the earth, or of the fruit of the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is a thing consecrated to the Lord.
The tithe (from Latin: decima, “tenth”) is a contribution of believers to the work of God.
Etymologically, it is 10%, paid in kind or in cash on the believer's income. Which must now be paid to a religious institution or the local church.
It is like a tax of sorts that must be taken from the believer's income and then deposited into the local church to support the work of God and those who work full-time in ministry.
This practice began before the law in the days of Abraham and continues to be used today in Judaism and Christianity.
NB: At the time of the laws or in Judaism and even in the Middle Ages in ancient Western society, the practice of tithing was obligatory.
ANCIENT ORIGINS OF TITHING:
The first mention of tithing as such in the Bible is that offered by Abram to the high priest Melchizedek in the book of (Genesis 14:18-20.)
"Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine. He was a priest of the Most High God, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying: “Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth 20 And praise be to God the Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hands. So Abram gave him a tenth of everything."
Later in Genesis 28:20-22, after the song of the ladder, Jacob swears to give God a tenth of what God will give him.
"Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[a] will be my God 22 and[b] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
NB: If you read your Bible, you will find several kinds of tithes which are described in the book of Deuteronomy 14,22-29. There is also (Teroumat hamaasser in Hebrew) which is the tithe of the tithe (one percentage of 10% received), it is intended for the high priest of the temple.
Bible Verse (Nehemiah 10:3)
The priest, Aaron's son, will be with the Levites when they give tithes; and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithe to the house of our God, into the chambers of the treasure house.
TITHING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT:
Since the beginning of Judaism, God had established this law in Israel that one-tenth of the income from each produce or harvest must to be paid to the temple to provide for the Levites who had devoted their lives to the work of God.
In the book of Malachi 3:8-12, failure to paid the tithe is considered theft from God and a curse, While the regular tithing paid promotes the blessings.
TITHING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
But there are several references to tithing that can be found in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew 22:23, in the Gospel of Luke 11:42 and Luke 18:12, and in Hebrews 7:1 This last passage refers to the tithe paid by Abraham to Melchizedek.
WHAT THE REFORMED CHURCHES BELIEVE ABOUT TITHING:
In Protestantism, the reforming patriarch Martin Luther held that the law of grace excludes the law of the obligation of tithing.
In one of his sermons dated August 27, 1525, he mentions Paul's passage in Galatians 5:3 where he says that "if I want to live according to the law of Moses, I am obliged to keep the whole law (Deut 28: 58). This is why many Protestant denominations today view tithing as an act of generosity and not as an obligatory act.
WHAT EVANGELICALS BELIEVE ABOUT TITHING:
In evangelical Christianity, tithing obligations vary by denomination. Some evangelical denominations promise divine healing and prosperity if you pay your tithing regularly.
Some preachers even teach their disciples about curses, attacks from the devil, and the poverty that will follow them if they do not pay their tithing regularly.
For other evangelical churches like ours, tithing is not an obligation, but a kind of obedience to God's word and a way of honouring God and his word in our lives.
NB: Whether we like it or not, the practice of tithing remains biblical to our day. Because there is no Bible verse that clearly demonstrates the cancellation of the practice of tithing in the New Testament.
For those who fear God and those who seek to walk according to His word, tithing is primarily an act of faith and not of money. So, in the New Testament, we no longer tithe out of obligation or command, but rather out of faith in God. In this case, the tithe therefore becomes the palpable proof of our faith in God and in his word.
And by contributing 10% of your income to your local church, it's a way to express your love, faith and gratitude to God. It is also a way of confirming your dependence to God so by paying your tithe to God you are recognising that without God you could do nothing and that you do not succeed by your own strength or intelligence but rather by grace of God, his goodness and his mercy upon you.
WHY SHOULD WE BRING OUR TITHES INTO GOD'S HOUSE?
God said, “Bring into the storehouse or (treasury house ) all the tithes, that there may be food in my house; Test me therefore, says the LORD of hosts. And you will see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out my blessings in abundance upon you.
According to Malachi 3:10, the answer is simple: let there be food in the house of the Lord. Today, this can be translated so that the finances will not be lacking in the house of God. The tithing money will be used for two things: to support the church and also to support ministers of God who work full time in the church.
THE BENEFITS OF TITHING IN OUR LIVES:
God said, “Bring into the storehouse or (treasury) all the tithes, that there may be food in my house; Test me therefore, says the LORD of hosts. And you will see if I do not open the windows of heaven for you, if I do not pour out blessings on you in abundance. 11 As for you, I will rebuke the devourer, and he will not destroy the fruits of the earth for you, nor will the vine be barren in your fields, says the LORD of hosts.
According to Malachi 3:10-11, for people who habitually pay their tithing, God promised these 5 benefits to characterise their life on this earth.
1. An open sky
2. abundance rain
3.blessings in abundance.
4. Complete Protection (God will destroy the devourer for you)
5. Fertility in everything you do
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DON'T PAY THE TITHE?
According to Malachi 3:9-10. people are cursed if they do not pay their tithe regularly, and also they deceive God.
We understand that this word is very strong for people but it is the word of God and there is no way to change it. Many people thought that God only did this in the Old Testament during the days of the law, because in those days tithing was obligatory.
And they think today that God does not curse people even if they do not pay their tithe correctly because it is the time of Grace.
To understand this question, one must first understand why tithing was established by God? the answer is to save God’s work. So today, if God's work is destroyed because no one brings a tithe, offering or donation and if this lack of money causes the local church to close and the people have money in the bank but refuse to provide support through their tithe to the house of the Lord this will provoke the wrath of God and in this case the divine curse will hit the people.
CAN I BORROW MY OWN TITHE?
If you borrow your own tithe, you are expected to repay it back with 5% more of your tithe.
Bible verse (Leviticus 27:31)
If anyone wants to redeem anything from his tithe, he will add a fifth % to it.