The Proportion of the Tithe

You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!
–Malachi 3:9

Do you want God’s blessing? Tithing is the beginning place for experiencing God’s blessing. You may say, “I don’t tithe, and I am doing fine right now.” The key is “right now.” Over the long haul, do you really think God is going to bless those who rob Him of what belongs to Him? In Malachi 3:9, God said, “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me.” What’s the remedy? God tells us in 3:10: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows.’”

In this passage, God tells us the proportion of what we are to give. How much should we give? The starting place is the tithe. Notice that “tithe” is not a synonym for “give.” Tithe means 10 percent. And God says the starting place is the tithe. Now, I know the debates and arguments for not tithing. People say, “There is no biblical reason to tithe.” Or they will say, “Tithing was for the Old Testament. Why are you picking out that one point of the law to keep?” There is a very simple answer to that: tithing transcended the law. Tithing came before the law; it was present during the law, and it was present after the law in the New Testament. The tithe has always been the starting place of giving. Genesis 14:18-20 says that Abraham paid a tithe of what he had to the priest Melchizedek. The law didn’t come until 430 years after Abraham lived. But he gave a tenth of everything he had to the Lord.

In the New Testament, Jesus also commended the tithe. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, “Oh, you are tithing, but you are neglecting to do the weightier, the harder things like love, justice, and compassion. These things you ought to be doing in addition to tithing, without neglecting those things you have done.” Jesus commended the tithe.

Notice that in Malachi, God says the starting place for giving is the tithe. He tells the people to bring the whole tithe, the whole 10 percent, into the storehouse. A pastor once said to me, I have a lot of wealthy people in my church. They find a way to pay themselves an itty-bitty salary and have all this income coming from other sources, and then they tithe on this little bit of income. They may have a million dollars coming in from various sources, but they pay themselves a $30,000 salary and say, ‘I’m going to give my tithe: $3,000.’ Can you believe that?” I said, “Yes, I can believe that. We have that in our church too.” With that kind of accounting, you may be fooling other people, you may be fooling yourself, but you are not fooling God. He says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” Tithing is the beginning place for God’s blessing.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Beginning Place for God’s Blessing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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