We can see the following points from
Giving of gifts was tied to
salvation - Hebrews 11:4 - By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent
sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,
God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
God was not pleased with all the
gifts of man. A man’s gift had to follow the pattern given by God.
Gifts must be accompanied by the
Other men brought gifts to the Lord,
Noah offered unto the Lord -
Abraham likewise -
Genesis 12:7, 13:4.
In these days there was no temple to
maintain, nor was there a priest who needed a salary for his earthly
The gift was usually a lamb slain
and consumed in the act of sacrifice.
As a result, the gifts that were
given to God were the object of the moment.
The 1st occurrence of tithing came
when Abraham met Melchizedek, the first mentioned priest of God.
A priest had a ministry to and for
individuals. Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine. In return for his
ministry, Abraham “gave him tithes of all”
It is interesting that when the
first priest of God appears in the Bible, tithes are collected to support
Also notice that the tithes were
paid at a place that later would be connected with tithes. Melchizedek was
king of Salem, a place we know today as Jerusalem.
The next occurrence of tithing comes
when Jacob is at Bethel, which also was a place later approved for
collective religious worship.
Jacob sees the ladder that reaches
to heaven and names the place Bethel, or House of God.
Jacob realized that any wealth that
he would accumulate would come from God and that a tenth belonged to Him -
Genesis 28:22 - And this stone,
which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of
all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Throughout the book of Genesis, God
deals through the patriarchs. These were great men who led their families.
There was no house of God, nor
priests to minister to the men of God.
There was no need for finances to
sustain the ministry of God.
The patriarchs did not need
offerings to support themselves. They made their living through cattle,
crops and trading. Any gift to God was the animal that was sacrificed as
an offering to God.
When the descendants of Abraham went
into Egypt, there were only 70 of them (Gen. 46:27). While there, God
multiplied them. Pharaoh made slaves of them and God’s people suffered.
God raised up Moses to deliver them. After 9 great plagues, the time came
for the final blow - Exodus 10:1-10,29. God’s people prepared themselves
for the final plague in which the firstborn of both man and beast would be
killed. As a result of this plague, Pharaoh thrust the people out into the
Before the Israelites left Egypt,
they were instructed to “borrow” gold, silver and jewels from the
Eyptians - Exodus 11:1,2.
Next, they were to prepare for the
Passover. They had until midnight to do all of this - Exodus 12:3-13.
The “borrowing” of jewels and
raiment became the seed-plot for God’s people to make gifts:
to build the tabernacle
the sustain the ministry of the
to support the priesthood.
There were 3 reasons why the “spoiling”
of the Egyptians took place.
The prophecy of Genesis 15:14 had to
be fulfilled - And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge:
and afterward shall they come
out with great substance.
They had worked as slaves for many
years with no pay. God was catching up their wages.
The Lord was planning a sanctuary
for Himself in the wilderness. The tabernacle would require gold, silver
and fabric for its construction, furnishings and robes for attendants.
Whatever was going to be needed had to be carried into the wilderness from
God gave His people the Ten
Commandments and the Book of the Covenant at Mount Sinai. He also gave them
the order of worship to be followed in the tabernacle after it was built -
Exodus 20-24. Now the stage was set for the construction of the sanctuary.
God had providentially provided
gold, silver and raiment for His house.
In the same way today, God gives men
strength, wisdom and ability to work. From that employment comes wages.
Then the Lord asks men to give back to God. God
providentially prepares for man to make tithes and offerings.
Willing offering were requested -
the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto the children of Israel,
that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly
with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3And this is the
offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4And
blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,
5And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
6Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Two things make fund-raising
Lack of resources (this wasn’t
Reluctance to give. (This was their
The gratitude of God’s people was
such that no commandment was necessary.
No amount was mentioned. A person
could give all or part.
For all the things needed, no one
Israelite had all or even most of the items. This was to be a cooperative
effort. Many could do what few could not.
Today, our churches are built by the
A proposed sanctuary is mentioned -
And let them make me a sanctuary;
that I may dwell among them. 9According to all that I shew thee, after
the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments
thereof, even so shall ye make it.
Now the Lord reveals the reason for
the offerings. A huge tent would be constructed and positioned in the
center of the camp.
God would dwell in that tent in a
special way and meet with His people.
A detailed description of its
construction is given in Exodus 25-27.
God had the tabernacle built to a
pre-planned pattern. God was its architect.
Later, Aaron and his sons were set
aside to serve as priests.
Talented men were recruited - Exodus
And generous offerings were
restrained - Exodus 36:4-7:
all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every
man from his work which they made; 5And they spake unto Moses, saying,
The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work,
which the LORD commanded to make. 6And Moses gave commandment, and they
caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man
nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the
people were restrained from bringing. 7For the stuff they had was
sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Construction on the tabernacle began 6
months after the exodus from Egypt. And it took six months to finish.
Some lessons we learn from this, so
Bondage destroys life.
God never asks for contributions but
what He first supplies resources.
The 1st project on God’s priority
list for His people’s welfare is an assembly house.
God wants His people to give
willingly toward support of His work.
Giving involves more than just money
or material things. (Time and talent).
Giving to God goes back to the
beginning of time. Giving to God then is like it is today, in that, God
wants our life first, then the product of our hands. But He never asks us to
give what he doesn’t first provide.
Although lots of organizations ask for
money, and many of these may be good, God
has only one place in both Old and New Testament to give money.
The belief and practice of storehouse
tithing has been rejected by many today. Those who teach it and preach it
have been accused of legalism and other things.
The doctrine of tithing means a
believer gives one-tenth of his income to the Lord.
Many do not agree with this
The doctrine of “storehouse
tithing” means the tithe is given to the local church.
This is God’s common-sense way of
growth. Every man gives according to his ability and together enough money
is raised to carry on the ministry.
The principle of “God’s place”
is introduced in Deuteronomy 12:1-32.
Throughout the OT, God had a place
Celebrating the symbols of
redemption, the sacrificial offerings
A central assembly where God met
with the people
A location where tithes and
offerings were given.
This principle continues in the New
Testament. The Church is God’s place for:
Celebrating the symbols of
redemption, baptism and the Lord’s table
The central place where
Christians assemble (church means “assembly”)
The place where the people bring
their tithes and offerings.
The Importance of a special place -
unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all
your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall
ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: 6And thither ye shall bring
your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes,
and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill
offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: 7And
there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all
that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy
God hath blessed thee. 8Ye shall not do after all the things
that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his
own eyes. 9For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the
inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you. 10But when ye go
over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to
inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round
about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11Then there shall be a place
which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there;
thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and
your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and
all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: 12And ye shall rejoice
before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and
your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is
within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with
you. 13Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings
in every place that thou seest: 14But in the place which the LORD
shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt
offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
God made it clear that 3 things were
tied to a special place of worship.
The place for celebrating the
symbols of redemption. He couldn’t make his sacrifice just anywhere (as
the heathen). This would have been the same as a man determining how and
where he would serve God, which is man-made religion.
The sacrifices were symbols.
Symbols of the Lamb of God that would take away the sin of the world.
Today we do not observe the
symbols of killing animals to picture redemption.
Our symbols are baptism and the
Lord’s table. Both are pictures of Christ’s sacrifice. We call these
“ordinances”. They belong to the church.
The place for the people to assemble
The Israelite was commanded to
come to God’s place - Dt. 12:5.
God promised to meet with people
at specific places. Not at every location.
The church is an assembly of “called
Under both law and grace God saw a
need for central assembly.
There we find mutual fellowship,
support and strength.
The authority of the OT place was
the presence of the Lord - Ex. 40:34.
The church also has the unique
presence of Christ. The church is called a candlestick in Revelation 1.
When that church fell into sin, it was in danger of losing “its
candlestick out of its place”. (Rev. 2:5).
Christ’s presence in the church
is its authority. He indwells believers (Gal. 2:20) and the church is
gathered to carry out His commission. Therefore we bring our tithes and
offerings to the place (church) where God meets with His people.
The church is assembly of
believers, in whom Christ dwells, which exists under the authority of
the word of God, organized for evangelism, teaching, fellowship, worship
and to exercise the ordinances.
God calls men to give leadership
to this ministry. Money is needed to support their needs and pay for the
expenses incurred in their ministry.
God commanded His people to bring
the tithes to “His place” in the OT. We should continue His pattern
in the NT.
God gave careful warning about men
deciding where to worship God, when to sacrifice and what to offer. The
principle carries over into the NT. God’s plan is to assemble on the
Lord’s Day (I Cor. 16:2), to study the Word of God (Acts 2:42), pray
(Vs. 42) and celebrate the ordinances (Acts 2:41,46).
The place of offerings.
God designated a special place. He
also designated that offerings be brought to that place - Dt. 12:11.
People were told not to eat their
tithe corn at home - Dt. 12:17.
They were commanded to bring their
tithes and offerings:
to worship God
to support the Levites
to provide maintenance of God’s
to prosper individually - Dt.
In the OT, the Israelite payed his
tithe at the tabernacle and later at the temple.
This was one of the conditions of the
law, in order to remain in fellowship with God. Under grace, some want to
throw out the tithe. They have missed God’s plan to carry out His work.
However, a Christian cannot give
money to get in fellowship with God.
Christians give because they are
saved and been made partakers of His grace.
We give tithes and offerings because
we are God’s children.
The tithing of harvests and herds was
the last subject covered in the book of Leviticus. Lev. 27:30-34. One tenth
of crops and animals were given to the Lord.
Numbers 18:24-32 explains that the
Israelites were to give their tithes to the Levites, and then the Levites
were to take a tithe of these offerings and give this to the priests. Since
their was more Levites than priests, this provided the priests with enough
to meet their needs.
Tithing for the Levites is similar
to our giving tithes in the church today.
The ministers receive a salary from
the tithes and offerings.
He is to live from the gifts of God’s
people because he is set aside to do God’s work.
Now a look at the storehouse.
The Mosaic law remained in effect
for 15 centuries from Moses to the cross.
Often the Jews ignored it, defied it
or covered it beneath man-made traditions.
When their spiritual life was low,
their giving fell off. When they were spiritually renewed, their giving
Over and over God sent prophets to
call people back to God and obey His law. Captivity cured the Jews of
idolatry, but some of their other sins returned afterward.
Malachi was a post-exile prophet. He
indicated that the people were backslidden in
3:7 - Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine
ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I
will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein
shall we return?
Malachi is leading up to a rebuke
for not contributing their resources to God. He accused them of living the
same way their fathers did prior to the Babylonian captivity.
God gave them an offer of
reconciliation and renewed fellowship. Their disobedience however, had led
to insensitivity toward the Lord. God had to spell the sin out for them.
Malachi 3:8 - Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye
say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings
How did they rob God? By keeping back
that which rightfully belonged to Him.
Then God pronounces a curse on the
nation in Malachi 3:9.
When King Hezekiah led a spiritual
reform for the nation, one of the things he did was to re-institute the
priesthood and the tithe. As the people responded to his instructions, the
contributions began to pile up in heaps in the temple courtyard.
Chronicles 31:9-12 - Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and
the Levites concerning the heaps. 10And Azariah the chief priest of
the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began
to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to
eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and
that which is left is this great store.
Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD;
and they prepared them, 12And brought in the offerings and the
tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah
the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.
This storehouse was built to hold
the contributions. It was from this that the priest and Levite were given
So, when a person brought offerings
to the Temple, he was storehouse tithing.
3:10 - Bring 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
And even though there is the promise
of blessing, a Christian should not give with the prospect of getting a
financial return on his investment. We should give with no thought of
return. We give because we love God. Those with a selfish motive will
probably not get it.
God also promises divine protection
3:11-12 - And 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.
God is not destitute if we fail to
give to Him. But we are spiritually desititute if we have no desire to give