The Tithe Covenant, Pt. 1

Malachi 3:8-12 says, “8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring 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. 11And 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. 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

To many in the church, tithing is a very controversial issue, mainly because they do not want to give God what belongs to them when, in reality, they are only robbing themselves. Tithing is a covenant, meaning that when you give God what belongs to Him, He will do His part and give you what belongs to you! Many say that tithing is just Old Testament. Others say that they cannot afford to do it. Some even question the very purpose in it. We will cover these different issues concerning tithing, and, hopefully, you will be enlightened to a newfound understanding and be fully persuaded to give God what belongs to Him!

The word “tithe” literally means “the tenth.” It is giving God 10 percent of your gross income. Leviticus 27:30-32 says, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” It was commanded in the Old Covenant to give the tithe to the Tabernacle of God, and if someone needed to redeem the tithe, meaning that they wanted to buy back the tenth they had given of grain and fruit, they would have to pay its value with 20 percent interest. It is about giving God what belongs to Him, and the tithe belongs to Him, not us!

The first place in Scripture where tithing first took place was in Genesis 14:18-20, which says, “18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:  20And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” Melchizedek was a mysterious man. He was the king and priest of Salem, which was the former Jerusalem. Not much is known of this king, but one thing is certain: Abraham paid tithes to him. He must have contained some type of significance since Abraham paid tithes of everything he had to him. I believe that this Melchizedek was not only a foreshadowing of the Levitical priesthood that was to come, but also of the ultimate High Priest, who is none other than Jesus Christ! Hebrews 7:1-4, 8-11, 15-17 says, “1For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. 4Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils…8And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. 11If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?…15And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

Melchizedek was a picture of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. He really had no beginning or ending in Scripture, just like the priesthood of Jesus Christ is eternal, that no other sacrifice could ever replace the one He offered. Just like Abraham, we are to give out tithes to Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Many people believe that tithing in the New Testament is unbiblical, not because they desire to break the rudiments of the old covenant, but because they want to keep that money to themselves! If you believe that tithing is not in the New Testament, then give more than the tithe because the church of the Book of Acts many times gave ALL they had for the furthering of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said in His words in Matthew 22:21 says, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” What belongs to God? The answer is “the tithe”! He also told the Pharisees in Luke 11:42, “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Jesus told the Pharisees, “Be careful now. You do give the tithe, which you should be doing, but the love of God you should never refuse to show!” So, Jesus did support the giving of the tithe, and as our High Priest, we should give Him the tithe that belongs to Him!