As you can see from last weeks post and responses, there are many different views on tithing. So what I intend to do is lay it out as neutral as possible and either solidify your position or give you just cause to change your position altogether. In order to do that we have to give you appropriate background.
Old Testament Tithing can be broken down into two categories – PML (Pre-Mosaic Law) and Mosaic Law.
PML – Sometimes folks say they don’t tithe because the practice was part of Mosaic Law and that it is no longer necessary to maintain Mosaic Law. Those people are correct in their assessment that it is not necessary to perform Mosaic Law practices, but they are wrong in assuming that the Old Testament only presents tithing within The Law. There are instances that occur prior to Mosaic Law where tithing is displayed in the bible.
The first instance of tithing occurs in Genesis 14 when Abram (in later references - Abraham) is met by Melchizedek after Abram returns from battle to retrieve his nephew Lot. Abram gives Melchizedek a tithe of all that he captured in response to God allowing him to be victorious in battle. Side note: The original battle was 5 kings against 4 kings in which the 4 kings prevailed. The army comprised of the 4 kings took all of Sodom and Gomorrah’s goods to include the people who didn’t flee and this included Abram’s nephew Lot. Abram hearing that his nephew was captive took 318 of his trained servants and came up victorious against these 4 kings. Needless to say, God was with him.
The second occurrence happens after Jacob, Abraham’s grandson has an encounter with God in a dream. After awaking he makes a vow that if God will be with him to protect and take care of him then he promises to give a tenth to God in response to their agreement (covenant).
After reading these two accounts one can not deny that tithing was in existence PRIOR to the enactment of Mosaic Law, but what I think is important to notice is that in each instance it was done in conjunction or in response to a covenant agreement. What do I mean by that? A covenant agreement is an agreement between two or more parties where the specifics (the do’s and don’ts) are laid out for each to follow. In the aforementioned cases, tithing was done as a show that God was responsible for protecting, providing, and imparting wealth. Therefore, as a show of gratitude, a tenth (tithe), was given to the priests in response to God holding up his end of the agreement.
It is important to note that Abraham represents the Father of the lineage of the people in which God intended to bless. In fact, it can be said that Abraham opened the door of blessing (redemption) to modern day Christians.
Next week we will tackle tithing under Mosaic Law.
Questions, Comments, Criticisms?
About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.