Lenten Day 33: SIN FOR NOT PAYING TITHES
TOPIC: SIN FOR NOT PAYING TITHES
TEXT: MALACHI 3:8-12
TITHE simply means a tenth part. Therefore, paying of tithes (not just tithe) means giving a tenth part of all our increase as received from GOD back to Him. The concept of paying tithes is first encountered in Genesis 14:20 (about 430 years before the Law was given) where Abraham paid one tenth of all he had to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God. This is one area of Christian practice that many Christians would not want to hear of. The truth is that in as much as many Christians share different views (mere excuses to tithe evasion), about the subject, it is of paramount importance to GOD.
Tithe payment is despised by many Christians, while others see it as insignificant, but its negative effects (when avoided) are simply enormous. Many Christians normally look for reasons to excuse tithe, those that even pay do not pay the complete tithe – which is as good as paying nothing. The devil knows very well that the laws of prosperity are tied on the payment of tithes (see Lk 6:38; Gal 6:7), so he tends to magnify the one-tenth so that it looks like giving it back to GOD would cause a Tsunami in our finance (which is not really so), thereby making it difficult for many Christians to pay their tithes or pay the correct tithes. When we fail to pay our tithes God takes it back in many different ways which often make us spend far beyond what we would have paid as tithes, plus accumulated debts before GOD and other consequences of the sin of not paying tithe. He who pays his tithe prospers in his ways, and God devours the devourer (sickness, poverty, mishaps, etc) for him. It is a demand from God that we should pay tithes. If we use excuses of our state, or anything to avoid tithe payment, then we demonstrate a lack of belief, a lack of trust, and in so doing commit a sin vowed to bring a curse down upon us. God promises He will see that our basic needs are met; so, paying tithe also gives Him opportunity to demonstrate the strength of His Word.
The blessings of paying of tithes are also a function of the cheerfulness of our heart in obliging to the laws of tithe – But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. Tithe payment is just an investment into the treasures of GOD.
THE BIBLICAL PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES BEHIND TITHING
Tithing is a clear way to demonstrate our priorities- Deut 14:22-29 – The Bible makes the purpose of tithing very clear-to put God first in our life. We are to give God the first and best of what we earn. For example, what we do first with our money shows what we value most. Giving the first part of our paycheck to God immediately focuses our attention on Him. It also reminds us that all we have belongs to Him. A habit of regular tithing can keep God at the top of our priority list and give us a proper perspective on everything else we have.
Tithing should remind us of God’s desire that we be generous – Mark 12:41-44 – This bible verse talks about the poor widow who gave all she had. In the Lord’s eyes, this poor widow gave more than all the others put together, though her gift was by far the smallest. The value of a gift is not determined by its amount, but by the spirit in which it is given. A gift given grudgingly or for recognition loses its value.
The tithes were necessary to support the priesthood – the ordained spiritual leaders who were responsible for Israel’s worship and spiritual life. Num 18:20-24; Deut 14: 18 -29, Levi 27:30; 1 Tim 5:17-18
Tithes are used to make provisions for strangers, the fatherless, and widows – Deut 26:12-13; 14:29:
Giving one-tenth of their income to God taught Israel to reverence Him and recognize their dependence on Him. Deut 14:22-27
Giving to God can help us to learn, like Israel in the Old Testament, to reverence God and realize how much He is taking care of us. Phi 4:18-19
Giving the firstfruits of our wealth and income to God honours Him. Pro 3:9
Paying our tithes not only validates our trust and faith in God but also is our test of His promise to bless us in paying those tithes. Mal 3:10
NB – All tithes and offerings belong to God and are holy unto Him
THE SIN OF NOT TITHING. The Bible defines “sin” as the transgression of law (1 John 3:4) — any law! And in the Bible the use of the word “sin” has to do with violating any law of God that God has given for people to observe. God has given certain positive laws to particular people to perform as well as certain negative laws telling people to refrain from practicing particular deeds. When one breaks any of these laws that God has ordained for certain people to do (things to perform or not to perform), that person is reckoned to be “sinning.” With this being the definition of “sin,” there are multitudes of Christians ( more especially church leaders) who are “sinning” on a daily basis in regard to their use (or better yet, their misuse or their abuse) of the biblical tithe.
There is nothing clearer in the Bible than the teaching of God about the ordained tithe. The Bible shows who were to pay the tithe, who were to receive the tithe, the types of produce that were to be tithed, how the tithe was to be used, along with regulations that gave limitations and restrictions on its use, yet these laws of God are being violated wholesale by Christians. Any form of tithe aversion is sin; not paying the correct tithe (less than 10%) is also a sin. Late payment of tithe attracts 5% (Lev 27:30-32)
PAYING OF TITHE EXEMPLIFIED – Abraham to Melchizedek – Gen 14:20; Heb 7:2-6; Jacob vows a tenth of all his property to God – Gen 28:22, the Levites and Priests – Heb 7:9; Hezekiah and Israel – 1 Chr 31; Nehemiah and Israel – Neh13; Scribes and Pharisees (Hypocrites) – Mat 23:23; Lk11:42; Christians – 1 Cor. 9:7-14:16:1-2; 2 cor.7:11; Hebs.7.
BLESSING OF PAYING TITHES – It attracts abundance of blessings – “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!”- Mal 3:10; it prevents devourer of our wealth (sickness, misfortunes, etc) – “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. – Mal 3:11; it attracts recognition of GOD’S blessing by all – “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” – Mal 3:12
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT PAYING YOUR TITHES – It attracts curse – “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” – Mal 3:9; it leads to poor harvest and poverty – “Ye have sown much, and bring in little – Hag 1:6; it leads to lack of satisfaction – ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is non warm – Hag 1:6; it leads to emptiness – and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” – Hag 1:6
Tithes and offerings belong to God by virtue of His covenant with us. Using it otherwise entails robbing God of what is due to Him which may attract curses (Mal. 3:8-12). Tithing is a proof of obedience and appreciation of God’s Blessings in our lives. “….and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open to you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” – Mal 3:10.. Mathematically, any number multiplied by zero is zero. Each time GOD wants to do anything, he uses what is available to achieve a result, but when nothing is provided nothing is effected. For there to be an increase, something must be provided for GOD to work with. GOD is not a magician, He works systematically and methodologically.
For Jesus to feed five thousand people, five loaves of bread and two fishes were provided; it was also the same case with Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 King 17:5-16); – so nothing produces nothing. Luke 6:38 gives a unique analogy of the concept – If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you. Become a shareholder in the work of God’s ministry here on earth. Start tithing. It’s a great investment for your future. Pay your tithe so that things will not be tight for you.