Paying tithes has been an agelong tradition of Judaism and later on, it was adopted by the Christians even though there are so many controversies surrounding the paying of tithes, it is very important for you as a Christian to understand the first man to pay tithe in the Bible.
Knowing the first person to tithe in the bible will also help you to know the purpose of tithes.
However, this sermon is going to be incomplete if we do not seek to know the meaning of tithes; why Abraham paid tithes, and the benefits of paying tithes.
So therefore, in this sermon we are going to base our discourse on the following sub-topics:
- The first person to tithe in the bible.
- The definition of tithe is in the dictionary.
- The meaning of tithe according to the bible.
- Why Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.
- The benefits of paying tithes.
And without much ado, let’s get to this religious discourse.
The first man to pay tithe in the bible.
Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham; was the first man to pay tithe in the bible. He paid his tithe to Melchizedek, who was the king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God.
The story is recorded in the Bible portion I have taken time to outline below.
And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.
And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Genesis 14:17-20
The definition of tithe in the dictionary.
According to dictionary.com, tithes are defined as the tenth part of agricultural produce or personal income set apart as an offering to God or for works of mercy, or the same amount regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church, priesthood, or the like.
The meaning of tithe according to the Bible.
According to the Good News Bible translation and several other translations; the tenth is used in place of tithe as we can see in Genesis 14:20.
May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised! ” And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered.
The tenth means that Abram gave Melchizedek 10% (ten percent) of all the loot he had recovered.
And for that reason, tithe means tenth or 10% (ten percent) in the bible.
And as we can see later in the law of tithes recorded in Deuteronomy 14:22. This ten percent used to be taken from what the farm produces every year.
“Set aside a tithe-a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
Why Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek.
Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek as a means of appreciating the gifts and blessings he gave to him.
As we saw earlier in Genesis 14:17-20, Melchizedek was the first to offer Abraham bread and wine and blessed him in the name of the Most High God.
Immediately after the gifts and blessings, Abram paid his tithe to Melchizedek.
From this knowledge, we can gather the understanding that; Abraham paid the tithe as a repayment for the bread and wine and also for the blessings he received from the Priest of the Most High God to uphold.
In Numbers 18:21-24, we see that tithe was a payment to the Levites; for their service in taking care of the Tent of the Lord’s presence.
“Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Hereafter the children of Israel shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.
But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
For the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer up as a heave offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance; therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.’ ”
This goes to say that those who serve in God’s temple must have their source of livelihood from the temple proceeds, which are brought in by the worshippers. And one such proceeds is the tithe.
Abraham knew about this, and that was why when he recognized Melchizedek as a priest of the Most High God, he paid his tithe to him.
The benefits of paying tithes.
When we study the life of Abraham, who is the very first person to pay tithe. We will discover that the many blessings he received from God were a result of paying tithe.
Even though the bible shows no other record of Abraham paying tithe again after his encounter with Melchizedek; the bible shows us in several instances the benefits of paying tithe.
In Deuteronomy 14:29, the bible says that after we are able to pay our tithes, the Lord is going to bless us abundantly.
And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
Now let’s see what the Bible says to this effect in Malachi 3:8-10.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
As we can all see, failure to pay our tithes means we are robbing God, and as such we are going to incur a curse.
On the other hand, when we are able to pay our tithes, God is going to open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings that there will not be room big enough to receive them.