“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house.”
If you’ve ever heard a message regarding tithing in church this scripture has been mentioned. Malachi 3:10 is one of the most commonly used tithing scriptures. I want to bring out some truth and freedom in this area.
Well-meaning people often say that the tithe is a test for us from God, that God is testing us by asking for our money. While that sounds like a good idea, it’s backwards to what the Bible says. The rest of Malachi 3:10 tells us “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Who is the test for? The test of the tithe is for God! The Lord Almighty tells YOU to test Him!
This is great news for us! God is not testing us by asking for 10% of our money. He is actually inviting us to test Him when we bring Him our tithe. God is inviting us to try it out and watch Him throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out His blessing. The tithe is not a test for us because there’s only one right answer. You either bring the tithe to God or you steal it from Him. (see Malachi 3:8) We don’t have to study or wonder if we get the right answer, God tells us exactly what to do.
When we bring the tithe to God we can be confident that He passes the test every time. God is not concerned if He will pass the tithe test. God’s Word has been tested and proven to be true. He has passed this test millions of times! That’s good news. We can bring God our tithe and watch Him pass the test over and over and over again.
Tithing is in the Old Testament!
Yes it is, and it’s in the New Testament as well. Let’s take a look at Matthew 22:21, “Then Jesus said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” What is God’s? Everything belongs to God! When you realize that everything is His you won’t have a problem giving Him the first 10%. But in this case Jesus is not saying that we need to give God all of our money. He is saying that it is right for us to pay taxes, and it is right to give God what He asks for, which is the tithe.
Next, take a look at the following chapter Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” This scripture does not need much explanation. Jesus is saying that justice, love, and faithfulness are more important than tithing, but not to neglect the tithe. Jesus is pointing out that the Pharisees do the right thing but with the wrong motives. They are tithing out of obligation, not out of love or passion to build God’s house. Having the right attitude is more important than simply doing the right thing.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
God loves when we give with a cheerful heart! If you are angry about tithing or bitter about giving 10% to Him, then the power of the tithe is depleted. God longs to bless us, however He will not bless our bitterness.
Just to clarify, tithing is bringing the first 10% of your increase to God’s House, which is the local church you attend. This is so that there is spiritual food for everyone to enjoy. Tithing is not when you bring your spare change or whatever you think you can afford. It is impossible to say you can’t afford to tithe because it is the first 10%, before you worry about any other bills. It does not matter if your first 10% is $1 a week or $10,000 a week, God will bless you. That is why it’s great that this is not a test for you, but a test for God, which He passes every time!
If you want to read and learn more about this topic and take your generosity to the next level, I suggest reading The Blessed Life by Pastor Robert Morris.