Most Christian churches teach the Biblical principle of stewardship, which is the management over another person’s affairs or possessions. When we become Christians, we come to realize that we, our possessions, and literally everything on earth comes from God. And as His heirs, we become the stewards over those things which are God’s.
Tithing is an act of stewardship. The scripture says that the tithe, the first tenth (10%) of our income, is the property of the Lord and we are to always return it to Him. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the LORD” (Lev. 27:30).
According to the Word, tithing is a serious matter with the Lord, that He calls those who do not tithe as “robbers” and pronounces a curse upon them. “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” (Mal. 3:8-9).
What kind of curse is this? A curse is the opposite of blessing, and the non-tither will neither have the promise of God’s bountiful blessings, nor protection from the devourer of the fruit of their labors. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove 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. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the LORD of hosts” (Mal. 3:10-11).
Tithing has sometimes been falsely attributed to the Law of Moses, but it actually originated long before that with Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek, who was the priest of the highest God and the king of Salem [Jerusalem] (Gen. 14:18-20).
Tithing is an expression of at least six important things:
(1) It is the acknowledgment of God’s proprietorship. Tithing expresses our belief that everything on this earth came from God, and that He is responsible for all we earn or receive as increase (Psa. 24:1).
(2) It is a “believer’s” expression of faith. Tithing is a statement of our faith and worship toward God. It is for believers only (Gen. 14:19-20).
(3) It is a test of our continued obedience to God’s Word. Tithing is an expression of faithfulness to His Word and stewardship over His possessions (1 Cor. 4:2, Mal. 3:10).
(4) It is an act of sowing spiritual seed. God promises the faithful tither, to continue to bless and flourish him with increased return and to meet his needs (Mal. 3:10, 2 Cor. 9:6).
(5) It is a continual memorial of God’s universal laws of sowing and reaping. Virtually everything that the Lord does is based on these same divine principles (Gal. 6:7).
(6) Tithing is the means which God has chosen to meet the expenses of the work of the ministry. The tithe is a sacred offering to God so that there would be spiritual meat in His house (Mal. 3:10)