If there were no other scripture regarding tithing except this, we would know we are supposed to tithe.
Before the Temple and before the Levitical Priesthood, we have two godly men tithing. “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” (Genesis 14:20). Melchizedek was King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God. He met Abraham and blessed him when Abraham was returning from defeating the kings. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had captured. Melchizedek’s name means king of righteousness. He is also called King of Salem (which means king of peace) (Hebrews 7:1-2) “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 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.” (Genesis 28:20-22).
Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, had twelve sons known later as the twelve tribes of Israel. The third son was Levi. God set apart a ministry to do His work. This ministry was composed of the descendants of Levi.
When God divided the land of Canaan and gave a portion to all the other tribes, He gave none to Levi. Instead of an inheritance, God gave Levi the tithe (Numbers 18:24) Verse 26 tells us, “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.” This tithe was for the Levites service in the tabernacle (Deuteronomy 18:1, 3-4)
There are three basic concepts that we need to remember about tithing. One, tithing reveals the condition of the heart. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) Two, failure to tithe is robbing God. (Malachi 3:8) Three, failure to tithe or honor God can cause serious economic consequences. (Haggai 1:7-9).
Every three years, a tithe was put in the storehouse for widows and orphans. “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled;” (Deuteronomy 26:12).
The Levitical Priesthood was temporary. It was to be superseded by the priesthood of Jesus Christ which is of the order of Melchizedek. Christ’s Priesthood having replaced Levi has every right to receive tithes.
At Christ’s death the veil of the temple was split in two, showing that we go directly to Christ, not to the priest. So tithing today goes to Christ’s work of fulfilling the great commission to preach the gospel to every person. In conclusion, tithing is an act of gratitude that says to God, “Thank You” for everything He has given to us. I’ve never known anyone who tithed willingly who was not blessed.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Hebrews Chapter 7 The history of the tithe
The reason for the tithe
To whom the tithe belongs
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