Tithing is a subject of interest in church circles today. Often people would get teachings on it but still have questions as to whether people are still required to pay tithes as a command from God or it is no longer relevant under the new covenant. Those that pay it are often taught that tithes are a heavenly form of security provided by God over one’s property and defaulters will suffer loss from exposure to all sorts of harm. Similarly, some teach that when you tithe you are attracting God’s blessings.
The best and absolute guide that will unveil the truth without being questioned is the Bible. I will use some verses to answer the question, ‘Are we blessed to tithe or we tithe to be blessed?’ I will quote instances where the Bible suggests that tithing is an act of triggering God’s blessings and that of blessings to invoke the paying of tithes. I will conclude the article by answering the question as to whether Christians today are expected to pay tithes or not.
Blessed to tithe
When you search scriptures you will learn that instances and teachings on tithes are recorded in both the New and Old Testament. A case that I believe is the first to be recorded on tithing was that of Abram whom God had blessed by giving him strength to defeat the armies of four kings and rescuing his nephew Lot. This is according to Genesis 14:19 – 29. The priest, Melchizedek attributed Abram’s victory to God – possessor of heaven and earth. In expression of gratitude to God, Abram paid a tithe to God by giving it to the priest because of a blessing.
In Genesis 28:20 – 22, we learn of a conditional tithe outlined by Jacob. Jacob is holding God in ransom. Jacob had been given a dream by God after he had built an alter. That is when Jacob vowed that in exchange for God’s care and provision, he would give God a tenth of his belongings. In this case, Jacob was to pay a tithe because of a blessing. I personally believe that this is not a good position of a healthy relationship with God.
Later on in the book of Leviticus 27:30 – 34, Moses introduces the practice of paying tithe as a law. Moses declared that a tithe is holy and belongs to God. Tithe was to come from all that a person possessed including the animals, and surely tithing was also to come from yields from the fields. Tithe was for recognising God in His might over the children of Israel. In this case, the Israelites were to pay tithe from their blessings. Nothing was too small not to qualify for a tithe unto God.
Tithing to be blessed
God invites people to tithe so that He can prove His promise of rewarding or blessing the one who obeys and honours His invitation (Malachi 3:10). For some reason God decides to use the carrot approach to invite people to obey His command yet in verse 9 God’s tone was of condemnation. In verse 8, He appears to be reasoning with the people (us) so that they (we) understand their (our) position of robbing Him of tithes.
Is tithing still an obligation today?
To answer the question on whether tithing is still relevant today or not, I must emphasize that the Old Testament is part of the infallible Word of God that is still applicable to us even today. If you read the Old Testament, you will know that many of God’s commandments, His character and nature is detailed in this Testament. God has not changed and therefore what the Old Testament says about Him still holds, tithes included.
Truly God has committed to bless a person that is faithful in paying tithes.
In the New Testament, we see the words of Jesus confirming that He came to the world not to do as He pleases but to do the will of God (John 6:38; 4:34). At one point Jesus tells us that whoever does not do that which God instructs, that person will not enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21).
In another instance in the New Testament, Jesus confirms that tithes should be paid. Jesus said this when He addressed Pharisees who were very careful to pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin in Matthew 23:23. The same address is given in Luke 11:42 where the Bible says, ‘…you should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things’ (NLT).
My response therefore points to the fact that tithing is still a command to us today. Only one word from the Bible is a reason goof enough for you to comply. If you go with the New Testament like many are most likely to, then Jesus covers the subject as already stated.