So yes, Abram did give a tenth of the spoils of war, not from his personal wealth, to the king but then decided to give all of the spoils to him, so he could not claim to have made Abram rich and take God's glory. Other than the initial give of ten percent what does this have in common with "tithing"? Absolutely nothing. If this is the basis for modern day tithing then we all should give only from our spoils of war and then it should be 100%. As bad an example this is, Genesis 28 is even worse:
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth." - Genesis 28:20-22 (NIV)
The journey Jacob is referring to will see him become married and wealthy. Is this text an example of faith-based tithing? Absolutely not! This is Jacob making a prid-quo-pro arrangement with God. If you do all of this for me Lord, then I will give you a tenth. Heck, I am sure a lot of Christians would be quick to make the same deal but that does not make it tithing. Just as a final note here, the bible never actually returns to this story, so we do not know if Jacob ever even followed through. Remember, he is not Israel yet! Dr. Brown then cites Proverbs 3:9-10 as directing us to give our first fruits to God. While Brown does not entirely cross the line as tithing whores do in claiming first fruits is the same as tithing, Brown dances around the matter. He ties Proverbs 3 to Matthew 6, which encourages us to seek first the kingdom of God.
So, let me be clear in closing. God should be first in our lives. New Testament giving still says we should give. We should do so cheerfully. If you have found a true church that does not compromise the gospel of Jesus Christ then pray for what He wants you to give each week. Sometimes it will be more than 10%, sometimes less. Maybe sometimes He will want you to give to that person in need. The church is not the building - we are the church. Maybe sometimes He will want you to pay down a debt, or even heaven forbid, take a vacation. The object is that you develop a close prayer relationship with God and give cheerfully as you have agreed. Do not let anyone guilt you, bully you or make you afraid. Do not let anyone turn the notion of giving to God first with the old Mosaic Law legal concept of tithing. No compulsion!
The truly sad thing is pastors constantly sell God short by demanding tithes. If they ever left it up to the believer and the indwelt Holy Spirit, they would get far more than 10%. Perhaps they cannot chance it because of how few true believers there actually are in the apostate church. Without the indwelt Holy Spirit, the things of God are utter foolishness to those who are perishing. Under those conditions it would not surprise me if only 5% were tithing at all and if 80% gave less than 2% of their income, which are the actual stats for the church today but that is a subject for another devotional on a different day.
Reverend Anthony Wade - July 5, 2022