Let’s jump right in. What is tithing? Biblically it is giving a 10th of the first fruits. The first tithe in the Bible was from Abraham and was given to the high priest Melchizedek. Melchizedek is from the Old Testament and reference by the New Testament in the Book of Hebrews. Melchizedek was both a king and priest. He was the king of Salem. Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. He brought out wine and bread and blessed Abraham for the tithe. Therefore, Abraham paid a tithe to him.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:18-20
Jesus was considered a priest in the order of Melchizedek because they were not descendants of Aaron a Levite. Therefore, they both did not qualify for the Jewish priesthood under the Law of Moses. From the time of Moses in Numbers 18:21-26 the tithe gift is discussed in the Bible. A tenth of produce was to be presented to the Levites. Tithing is also mentioned in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. However, what does Malachi Say About Tithing?
What Does Malachi Say About Tithing and Worship?
After discussing tithing in great detail in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy why does God circle back again in Malachi? First, because God’s people had returned from exile, the temple was rebuilt, However, they forgot about worshipping God. The Israelites, especially the priests had become lax in their religious and social behavior. Malachi the prophet sent by God to remind them of proper way to worship the Lord. The Israelites current worship was uninspiring and negligent.
Their first fruits were not their best and they were on the verge of repeating Cain’s worship of God. They were bringing defective livestock as an offering of worship. As a result, there were problems with all aspects of their life including within their marriages. If you do not have a proper relationship with God there is no way you can have one within your own home. What does Malachi say about tithing? It is absolutely part of our worship to God.
What does it mean to bring the tithe into the storehouse?
In Malachi 3:9 the prophet informs the Israelites that they are under a curse for not worshipping God properly with their tithes. As a result, the storehouse was not sufficient to aid the needy and support worship. As a result of their actions, they were a cursed nation that was robbing God. In verse 10, God demands the entire tithe and he will bless them.
You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Malachi 3:9 (NIV)
Many of the funds given in the form of tithes are passed along to the community to serve those in need. If the need is great most churches will seek additional funds from their congregation these are offerings and/or gifts. They are for a designated purpose or service. We are called to be good stewards over our funds so that we can be a blessing to others. Thereby, allowing us to be blessed in return. This is one of the many things that Malachi says about tithing.
What does God say about tithing?
I have listened to many sermons on tithing and offering over the years. When I became a new Christian, this was one of the many issues that God had to work on me. I was use to giving much less than 10% at church in all the years I attended. I thought I was doing something when I would drop a $20 in the collection plate. However, as I began to grow in my faith by reading the Bible, I knew that I was sorely lacking. God talks about money more than 800 times and the Holy Spirit convicted me to seriously move towards tithing in full.
As I reached the end of the Old Testament reading in the book of Malachi I discovered “the test”. God wanted me to test Him. So, I began to tithe on my net income. Again, feeling good. Thinking I was doing something. However, I continued to read and God kept showing me that there was more to give. Tithe on your gross. Now, that was truly a leap of faith and to this day I have never regretted my decision.
What Does Malachi Say About Tithing and Testing God?
I tested God, I reminded Him when things got tough and He has been faithful. He has always found creative ways to send help whenever, it was needed. He has blessed me in so many ways. I am humbly thankful. I continue to increase my giving not only in the form of tithing but also in giving more whenever an opportunity is presented.
Please note, this is the one and only place in the Bible where God allows us to test him. Again, this is what Malachi says about tithing from God. We can test God and he will provide. I know that I have tested him so many times. In my prayers, I would say “God I am going to step out on faith and I am going to test that you will provide.” He has come through for me and my family every time. I will continue to test God on this because He told me I could.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10.
The Love of Money
I will always love God more than money. Money comes and goes but God, he remains the same. His walk with me in this journey has been so humbling to me. Who knew he could care so much about me? That my wants and desires matter. Who knew that in my fear, I would grow to think beyond just myself? Accepting that all belongs to God and it is my responsibility to use it wisely. Not to hoard it and to think of myself first.
This is why it is so important how we feel and use the resources God provides. We must love God above the love of money. We must trust that he will provide all our needs according to his will for us. He encouraged me to not be eager to hold on to money. God may have a plan for it that does not include me. Let us not wonder from the faith chasing after money.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10
Is Giving to Charity Considered Tithing?
Giving to charity and tithing are not the same. You typically give a tenth of your earnings to the church. This is for running the church and to maintain a staff. It is also used to fulfill charitable works that the church organizes or are called to help. Also, special collection for missions or to help out a particular need that may arise as a one-time event. This could be considered an offering. Therefore, giving to a charity, or a person is not tithing. Charity is giving to an organization or person who has a specific goal or need.
Is What Malachi Says About tithing enough?
How about a cheerful giver? Many may have the ability to tithe more than a 10th. Others may only have the ability to give out of their poverty. Those that are perceived to give the most are giving out of abundance. I know of a wealthy believer that tithes in reverse giving 90% and living on 10%. God has blessed him that he is able to live on 10% of his income. Now, that is truly a blessing.
But what about the poor that can only give a little. How does God view them? They are actually perceived as giving from their heart out of hardship. Therefore, those that give out of poverty are seen as having given more according to Jesus. However, no matter how much one gives we are called to be a cheerful giver. We should decide from within our hearts what to give.
43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
Malachi’s Benefits of Tithing
The biggest benefit is the promise from God. His blessings will be more than you could ever imagine. God has the power to bless us with more than we can ever imagine.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
It feels good to know that in some small way you are contributing to spreading the gospel. I enjoy knowing that I am helping those in my community and beyond. This is God’s will for me. I have obeyed his commands and therefore I have a relationship with God. Those in need can see the power of God’s provision.
Tax Benefits of Tithing
Finally, another benefit is it can reduce your federal tax liability as these funds are taken off the top of your gross income for the year. For those of us with very little deductions this is a blessing to reduce your taxable income by the 10% or more you have donated to your church or the charity of your choice. Please consult your tax advisor for rules regarding what you can and cannot deduct and how much for qualified charitable donations.
Your decision to tithe, give an offering or just give to a charity or person is directly tied to your personal relationship with God. It will always be your choice. It is a distinction you must make between being righteous or being wicked. Malachi says about tithing is directly related to our righteousness. We are called to serve God. Tithing is just one way to serve that identifies us as righteous.
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 3:18 (NIV)
I will never forget my decision to tithe, give offerings and to give to charities. There have been immeasurable blessing from God. I was once told that you cannot out give God and I have not been able to. Therefore, I rest on the what Malachi says about tithing because I trust God. Do you?
Three Benefits of Giving:
1. God will bless you abundantly
2. Helping to spread the gospel
3. Tax benefits
One Last Quote:
“My rich dad gave money as well as education. He believed firmly in tithing. “If you want something, you first need to give,” he would always say. When he was short of money, he gave money to his church or to his favorite charity.” – From Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Peace and joy,