It has been a moment since the first post in this series of studies about giving from a biblical perspective, and I apologize for that! I’ve been busy, but I am ready to go!
We left off with the story of Cain and Abel and that giving is inherent in us. We are created in the image of God, and built into us is the heart to give. If we fast-forward a bit, we come across the “father of faith” for ALL OF US–Abraham.
If we look into the life of Abraham we will see that tithing recognizes who our source is. As a result, Abraham separated himself from everyone else.
Set the Stage
Abraham’s life is a life of adventure and faith. Genesis 14:18-24 records Abraham (Abram) giving a tenth to the “priest of God Most High”, Melchizedek. The offering was his response to the blessing that Melchizedek had pronounced over Abraham. The story doesn’t end there!
The King of Sodom made a deal with Abraham; he keeps the slaves, and Abraham keeps the money. This wasn’t the deal Abraham was looking for. Abraham’s response to the King of Sodom is important to the narrative. Genesis 14:23 tells us, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, I made Abram rich.” Abraham chose to recognize God and God alone as his source for all provision in his life. Abraham’s tenth that he gives to Melchizedek is his response to God as his source.
GOD IS SOURCE
God being our source is important. Recognizing God’s provision means that we no longer look to employers or paychecks as the source for us. However, this runs much deeper than you think! Understand, that seeing God as source for those living in the biblical narrative, was absolute faith! They had to depend on God for the rain to fall, which would grow the crops that created the provision, that produced the seed that they needed for sowing. This was the life of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (even Esau), and ALL of their descendants.
This moves even into Exodus (where we will see later) that Israels faithfulness to God opened the windows of heaven to bring rains. This ultimately led to Baal worship and idolatry in Israel. The nations around Israel in Canaan worshiped other gods who were seen as “rain gods”. Faithlessness in worship, in faith and trust and in giving/tithing created lack of rain and provision, which allowed the devourer to enter their lives.
The bottom line is that tithing is recognition of God as THE source of provision. To see God as source requires a level of TRUST–something we will cover in the next post.