In the modern era, so many Christians are making it a point of duty to pay tithes from their monetary income; whether from their salaries or business earnings.
These tithes are usually paid as money to their religious leaders who in turn become so wealthy off it.
It is traditionally believed by Christians that the consistent paying of tithes is going to enrich them.
And in case you did not know, another name for tithes is tenth; which means that one must give ten percent of whatever he or she earns.
It’s however sad that most Christians do not even know the purpose of tithes, and who they are supposed to pay their tithes to.
That’s why they continue to pay their tithes in the wrong places, and in the end, are unable to obtain the blessings that come with the paying of tithes.
And in this sermon, I am going to reveal to you with scriptural proof that tithing does not mean giving money.
And without much ado, let’s jump straight into this religious discourse.
Does tithing mean giving money?
Tithing does not mean giving money because there is nowhere in the bible that people are told to give money as tithes. Instead the word “eat it” is mostly used when tithing is mentioned in the Bible to show that tithes are a tenth of farm produce and livestock.
And because of this I can firmly state that tithing does not mean giving money, and I am going to back this revelation up with the following points:
- How Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:17-20).
- The law of tithes. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26).
- Tithes as a share of the Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows. (Deuteronomy 14:27-29).
- Eating the tithes. (Numbers 18:25-32).
- Jesus speaks on tithing. (Mathew 23:23).
How Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:17-20).
In Genesis 14:17-20, we discover that after Abraham returned from the war where he defeated Chedorlaomer and the Kings who were with him; Melchizedek who was the King of Salem and a priest of the Most High God brought bread and wine and blessed Abram.
And after Melchizedek blessed Abraham, he gave Melchizedek a tithe of all.
And what is the ‘all’ that Abraham gave to Melchizedek?
Now let’s go back to the scripture to discover this.
As we can see in Genesis 14:8-16, the 5 kings in verse 11 took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their provisions and went away.
And in verse 16, we discover that Abraham brought back all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and that of his nephew Lot; as well as the women and the people.
And take note that there is nowhere that the Bible makes mention of Abraham giving money to Melchizedek. And by all means, goods are not money, rather it is bought with money.
Other bible translations replace the word goods with loot.
And in the dictionary, loot is defined as private property taken from an enemy in a war when it’s a noun.
And as a verb, it is defined as stealing goods from (a place), typically during a war.
The law of tithes. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26).
In Deuteronomy 14:22-26 the Bible says: “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.
But in case the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you when the Lord your God has blessed you, then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses.
And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.
As we can see from the law of the tithe, tithes were a tenth of what the farm produced.
And each year it was to be taken to the temple where the owner will eat it with all his family.
And we can see where the money comes in with regard to tithing.
The Bible says that if the temple is far from your place, you should sell the tithes. But when you get to the temple, you must use the money recovered from the tithes to buy whatever you want.
It specifically mentions oxen and sheep (beef and lamb); and also wine or similar drinks (wine and beer).
And it again states that you and your whole family must eat all those things and enjoy yourselves.
Tithes as a share of the Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows. (Deuteronomy 14:27-29).
Deuteronomy 14:27-29 the scripture says You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. “At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates.
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.
As we can see from the above passage, tithes were traditionally the farm produce that was to be given to the Levites, strangers, orphans, and widows after every three years.
Also in 2 Chronicles 31:4-6, sheep and cattle are also being paid as tithes.
Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.
As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps.
And again it doesn’t make mention of tithing meaning money.
Eating the tithes. (Numbers 18:25-32).
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe.
And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the winepress.
Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest.
Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.’
Therefore you shall say to them: ‘When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress.
You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting.
And you shall bear no sin because of it when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the holy gifts of the children of Israel, lest you die.’ ” Numbers 18:25-32.
From the above scriptural passage, we can discover in verse 27 how tithes are given as the equivalent of new corn and new wine.
And most importantly how God commands the Levites to eat the tithes.
In the law of the tithes, we also saw how the word ‘eat’ was applied to tithes; and this goes to prove strongly that tithing does not mean money but what the farm produces.
Jesus speaks on tithing. (Mathew 23:23).
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Mathew 23:23
Now our Lord Jesus reveals that the Scribes and Pharisees pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin.
And let’s look at the meaning of these three words; to see if any of them is taken to mean money.
- Mint is an aromatic plant native to temperate regions of the old world; several kinds of which are used as culinary herbs.
- Anise is also called aniseed or rarely anix. And it is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. The flavor and aroma of its seeds have similarities with some other spices and herbs; such as star anise, fennel, licorice, and Tarragona.
- Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the trano turaman region. Its seeds -each one contained within a fruit, which is dried – are used in cuisines of many cultures in both whole and ground form.
Tithes simply mean food.
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. Malachy 3:10.
As evidenced by the above scriptural text, tithes simply mean food that we are required to bring to the church.
From this knowledge, I believe that tithes are the modern-day harvest that is done in our churches.
And as we all know, during harvest, people bring all manner of crops they planted on their farms.
Is it right to pay your tithes as money in the church?
Personally, I think it is not wrong for people to pay tithes as money in the church.
This is because, in modern society, people are no longer depending on farm produce to survive.
Lots of modern-day Christians are earning income from salaries and profits from businesses.
And these earnings are no longer yearly, as were from farm produce in the Jewish era.
So it is not wrong if they decide to take ten percent of it and pay as tithes.
And considering the law of tithes as we saw in Deuteronomy 14:22-29; I think the best way is to use that money and buy food stuffs.
As was done yearly, they need to go to the church and eat a portion of it.
And as was done every third year of tithing, they also need to share this foodstuff with their pastors; (substituted for the Jewish Levites), and also with strangers, orphans, and widows.