|Tithing the Tithe
by Dan Hayne
I am often asked by people, “How do I handle the tithe?” or “What is the right
way to tithe?” I have also run into quite a few people over the years who have been
faithfully giving their tithe or “tenth part” to their church, and yet it seems as if the
blessing of God never really comes to their life or their finances. Why is it that the
blessing just seems to pass them by? This has caused me to look into the Scriptures
and I have found a couple things that could help answer these questions.
So many times we attend church services and the leaders taking the offerings refer us
to Malachi 3:8-12 as if this passage of scripture were written to the people in the
congregation. When looking more closely at the context of this passage, in chapter 2
and verse 1 of Malachi we find that the section of scripture that has routinely been
used to take a tithe from the people of the church was actually addressing the priests
or leaders of the church.
Malachi 2:1 "And now, O priests, this commandment is for you…”
The book of Malachi is for the most part addressing a disobedient priesthood and,
beginning in chapter two, the message begins to express God’s displeasure with how
the leaders were profaning or defiling the tithes and offerings the people were bringing
into the church. This discourse continues on through the end of chapter three.
It is important to understand that disobedience can happen innocently as a result of a
lack of knowledge and understanding or it can happen by knowingly and willingly
choosing not to walk in truth.
Mal 3:9 “You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this
Something very significant has happened here. The actions of the priests or leaders of
the church not only robbed God, but they were robbing the entire nation they were
leading from receiving the blessings of God!
The real source of the disobedience of the priests can be found in the book of
Numbers. This begins to unravel the mystery of why the blessing of God was not
coming through to the people.
26 "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.
27 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.”
In the modern church there has been great emphasis placed on how the people should
tithe, however there has been very little or no importance placed on how the priests
or leaders should handle the tithe that the people give to them.
This passage in Numbers reveals to us how the priests or leaders were to handle the
tithe and make a heave offering to the Lord with it. When you heave something, you
are going to throw it away from yourself.
This could be where we find the blessing of God being blocked from coming through to
the people in many of our churches. Some church leaders are not tithing at all from
the tithes that come from the people. Other leaders are not making a heave offering of
this tenth part because they are sending it back into their own church or into an
outreach of their ministry. By doing this they are not making a heave offering that
sends this offering away from themselves.
In Numbers 18:27 it says if the priest or leader will accurately make a heave offering
with the tenth part of the tithes the people give them, it will be reckoned or
determined by God as if the people gave their entire crop or the fullness of their
winepress. So when the priest does what he is supposed to do by tithing the tithe,
then God will bless everything that the people have!
Conversely, if the priest will not do what he is supposed to do with the tithes the
people give, then in most cases, God may not bless the people to the fullest extent
It can be important to tithe to someone who will handle the tithe accurately by tithing
the tithe through giving a heave offering. When everybody does their part, the
blessing of God can be unconstrained and limitless!
|dh MISSIONS, c/o 16502 E Sprague Ave, TRLR 2, Spokane Valley, WA 99037, USA