OWN IT – THE TITHE
Read: Genesis 14:19-20, 28:16-22, Malachi 3:7-10
“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.” (NIV Genesis 14:19-20)
“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. 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 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and 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.” (NIV Genesis 28:16-22)
“Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,”says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 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.” (NIV Malachi 3:7-10)
Study: The idea of giving one-tenth of what we have to God didn’t start in a church finance office. Genesis says Abraham and his grandson Jacob responded to God’s presence in their lives by giving back one-tenth to God in ways that fit their time and place. After Israel’s return from exile in Babylon, the prophet Malachi said that Israelite’s who clung to all their resources were “robbing God.” Do your financial records, whatever the specific amounts or percentages involved, bear clear witness to your faith and commitment to God?
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the strength, abilities and ingenuity you have given me. Help me to recognize you, thank you and give back to you from the money and goods I have in my life. Amen.