Question: Does the Bible suggest we tithe? You
Consider Proverbs 3:9:
"Honor the Lord with your
possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase."
This admonition comes on the heels of the
charge in verse 6 which states,
"In everything you do,
put God first..."
These are not SUGGESTIONS; they are ORDERS.
So how much is the "first part"?
Well, the Old Testament saint of this book
took that commandment literally.
In fact, the Scriptures instructed him to make
specific offerings and gifts to the Lord, starting with the
tithe—10% of all he owned.
If you add up all the offerings the Old
Testament saint was instructed to give to God's work, it was nearly 30% of his
The Book of Numbers points out that Levites,
who were ministers or priests to the other eleven tribes of Israel, were to be
supported by the tithes of God's people.
Numbers 18:21 states, "...I have given
the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance, for their service
which they serve, even the service of the tabernacles of the
Deuteronomy 14:23 begins, "Thou shalt
truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by
The early church was ever constantly mindful of
the needs of those in other lands and often sent offerings to the first church
One might suggest that since the above text is
from the Old Testament, in times of the Law, and since we live today in the
period of Grace, that this tithe legalism is not applicable.
There is New Testament Biblical evidence to
In Acts 4:32, the Apostle Luke records,
"All the believers were of
one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned was his own; everyone
Verse 37 speaks of a Levite who
"Sold a field he owned and
brought the money to the apostles for distribution to those in need."
In Romans 15:27, the Apostle Paul notes that
the Christian believers in Macedonia and Achaia sent an offering to the
Christian church in Jerusalem.
"Because the news about
Christ came to these Gentiles from the church in Jerusalem... they felt that
the least they could do in return is to give some material aid."
Given the above Godly words about giving, here
are some shocking statistics to check out:
1. More money is spent on chewing gum
or dog food in the United States than is given to foreign missions.
2. Americans on average give less
than 1.7% of their gross income to church or charitable causes.
Of course, giving by Christians would be much
higher than that, right? Wrong!
According to Atlanta-based financial planner
Ronald Blue's sources, the average Christian gives approximately 2%!
Clearly, something is amiss!
There are two major misconceptions about
First, giving is not a return to God of His
slice: Rather it's a recognition of His ownership of all we have.
We should give not because He needs the money,
but because we recognize our responsibility to honor and obey Him.
Second, giving isn't a cause of spiritual
growth, it's a consequence of spiritual growth.
Giving breaks money's power over people,
because when we give we voluntarily lose control of it.
If we cannot give it up, we don't own it, it