2 Chronicles 31:10 Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok, answered, “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.”
When God’s people get right with Him, the blessings are abundant. What was brought to the temple was simply a proportional representation of the blessings to the whole nation. That they returned to the Lord genuinely and in large numbers is indicated by verse one of this chapter, when it speaks of the people continuing the destruction of idols as they went back to their homes. They had encountered Yahweh in truth, and they weren’t going to abide that trash any more. The flip side of that is that they were instructed in tithing, and they followed through. Over the years I have encountered many people who resented tithing, and/or insisted that it was just for Old Testament times. In a sense they are right: in the New Testament, everything belongs to God! A tithe is simply a reminder that God is the source of everything; it’s more for our sake than His. As comes out here, it is also God’s plan for supplying the needs of the priests and Levites, which in New Testament terms would be the pastor and church staff. (verse 4) When God’s people are in right relationship with Him, the Church never lacks for supplies.
I was taught tithing from childhood, but somewhere along the line it went by the wayside. Sometime around the birth of our second daughter in 1973, I started to feel under conviction about that. We were in a very tight situation financially, so much so that Medicaid paid for the c-section and related care. Cathy and I knew we should tithe, but we never had a tenth left over at the end of the month. Finally we decided to trust God enough to give a tithe as soon as the money came in. What do you know, we even had a little left over at the end of the month! We have tithed faithfully ever since, and though we have had somewhat tight periods, our needs have always been met. This church has also been pretty good at giving, particularly considering the size and financial status of the congregation. I don’t receive net income from the church when you consider what I give, but as a matter of principle I receive a tithe of the general offerings. The only real way to increase that is to increase the number of members. That’s not a very good motive for evangelism, but it’s a fact of life. Right now we are involved in a project that couldn’t be internally financed even if every member liquidated all they have. That’s a good reminder that God isn’t limited by our weaknesses. As God supplies, however He does it, I need to keep the church’s focus on Him rather than on the finances. Frankly, that’s not so easy even for me. I need to lift my own eyes to Him, even as I have been telling others to do for many years, and rest, relax, and rejoice in Him.
Father, thank You for all You are allowing us to experience. Help us learn all that You want to teach us in this, as well as be faithful to fulfill the part that You have for us to play, so that all of Your plans for us may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!