For our family, being thankful to the Lord for His provision is, by itself, a good enough reason to give a tenth of our income back to Him. But tithing is also a way of acknowledging His ownership of each of us and His Lordship over every aspect of reality.
2. We Tithe in Acknowledgment
A few months ago, I received a notice in the mail from the city of Chesapeake that one of their cameras had clocked my vehicle going over the speed limit in a school zone. A picture of me driving the vehicle and a close-up of my license plate, along with a photo of the speed, gave incontrovertible proof that I was guilty. The gist of the notice was that my transgression would not go on my driving record and I would not have to appear in court; just send them $100 and be more careful in observing the speed limit. I could have protested the ticket (some have – and won), but instead, I paid the fine and, in so doing, acknowledged the right of the city to enforce its guidelines.
It is easy to get by without acknowledging God’s ownership of the created universe; He does not send out tickets to those who fail to recognize His proprietorship. If He did, our mailboxes would be filled daily with infraction notices! He certainly has the right to fine us every time we say something is “ours,” when, in fact, it is His.
Tithing is first mentioned in the story of Abraham’s gift to Melchizedek following the recovery of the citizens and wealth of Sodom. The Lord God is acknowledged by both Melchizedek and Abraham as being, “The Possessor of heaven and earth.” The tithe was a tangible method of giving God the glory for the victorious battle and of honoring Him as the One to Whom everything belongs.
In today’s terms, when we tithe, we are thanking Him for providing us with a job, income, a family, friends, a church while openly affirming that everything is His and not ours to own.
Lynn Hardaway, Network Missionary