(This part of a series. To read the rest of the series, click here.)
From the first mention of a priesthood we see that 10% of the increase was given to them in thanksgiving to God. This is where the word “tithe”came from. The word means “a tenth part.” The first example is with Abraham in Genesis 14 when he returned from a victory over five kings with all the plunder from the victory. When he returned he was met by a priest and partook of a covenant meal. (Read Genesis 14.)
So the concept of giving 10% to the Lord came through Abraham, the father of all those who walk by faith, and this was instituted 430 years before the laws that were then given to Moses.
In tithing, Abraham gave to Melchizedek, a priest who was a type of Christ. He was essentially giving credit to God for a warfare victory when he gave 10% of the plunder to this priest. Tithing was how God sealed the covenant with Abram and declared a blessing upon Him to make him very rich.
Giving to our Father is not how you get to be a son of God, but giving is what thankful sons do. In giving back to God we are acknowledging that He is our help, He is our victory, He is the one we depend upon. It’s an act of humility mixed with trust.
Some say that financial giving, like what Abraham did, is not in the New Testament, but they are totally missing the truth that Jesus came to reinstitute the priesthood of Melchizedek (He did not come after the order of Aaron.) Thus when Abraham gave 10% of the plunder to Melchizedek he set a precedent of what we would do when we come to Jesus.
Hebrews 7:1-3 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.
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