Tithing comes with a promise!by Carlos García
Sep 17, 2007
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Tithe with a glad heart, for there are promises around the corner.
Women of the Bible : 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups by Jean E. Syswerda (2002, Paperback)
It's interesting how people often say things like, "The Church is only after your money." Truth is, like everything in life, there is a requirement of funding for it to continue ministry. But that's not the problem. The problem is understanding the PROMISES behind tithing. Believe it or not, there are actually promises to those who tithe. It's not just a matter of honoring God, but it's something that God says, people can test him on. God says, "hey, if you tithe, I promise this." First, lets look at Old Testament tithing.
10) Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, to see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room.
11) And I will rebuke your devourer, and he shall not decay the fruit of your ground against you; nor shall your vine miscarry against you in the field, says Jehovah of Hosts.
First off, God called us to bring in our tithe (1 tenth of our "increase"). Not sure what that means to you, but to me, it means any funds that are moveable that come in are considered increase. This is a personal conviction, so I encourage you to find for yourself what God wants to you tithe. But what's interesting in this verse is that God makes a promise. He states that not only will he hold back the devourer, but he'll also pour a blessing for you that you will not have enough room for. What's that look like? Think about it. In those days, they were farmers. God's saying to them, I won't just make sure that your crops are safe, but I'll pour a blessing that's so great, your barns will overflow. What's even more interesting is that God challenges us to test him on this. This is the only place that God says,"Hey, if you don't believe me, try it." It's a chance to prove God's goodness and be rewarded on it. Personally, I think that's totally sweet.
But it's also a matter of the heart. In Genesis 4:3-5, we see that Cain just brought whatever, but Abel brought the best (firstlings). It's like, hey, if you ain't going to give with a glad heart, you might as well hold on to it until you can give in good spirits. If you do well, won't you be rewarded?
Even so, there are greater promises in the New Testament. Check it!
Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.
Ok, so if you start by thinking of their life as farmers, this makes more sense. Give, and it shall be given (back) to you. If you give a bag of corn, God's going to give a bag of corn back to you. But that's not all, he goes on to say how he gives it back. He'll have it "pressed down and shaken together." If you think of corn, what happens when you press the corn in a bag? It makes room for more. Then if you shake it together, there's more room in that bag again. So, he wants to give you that same bag, pressed down and shaken together. Since there's now room in the bag, the promise continues to say "running over". So, not only is God going to press down and shake together this bag of corn to make more room, but he'll fill the bag and have it overflowing!. Honestly, I like those odds. So, in giving a bag of corn, I'm getting something back that's pressed down, shaken together, and over flowing. I'm getting a lot more than what I originally gave. God's good that way.
I'm a bit of a symantics person, so let me point something out. God says "to the measure you give". He doesn't say to the measure you're required. By using the word "give", a choice is implied. To what you give (willingly), God promises here to give back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Dude, in modern terms, if you consider that like a pouch with coins in it, what would a coin pouch look like, pressed down, shaken together, and running over? What if it was dollars?
Bottom line is that God's not requiring a tithe just to pay for ministry, but it comes with a promise of blessings to you.