Why Should I Tithe

8 Reasons from God’s Word

Over and over in Scripture, God tells us that the first 10% of all I make is God’s money. I give it back to him for three reasons: out of gratitude for the past, out of faith in the future, and as a sign that he’s number one in my life today. It has a past, present, and future component. Gratitude for the past; he allowed me to make this money. Hope in the future; he’s going to take care of all my needs. He’s number one in my life right now, so the first part goes to him. Just like I said give God the first part of every day in a quiet time, give God the first day of every week in Sunday worship, and give God the first consideration in every decision, and give God the first 10% of everything I make.

The Bible says this—Leviticus 27:30:

“Ten percent of everything you harvest is holy and belongs to me.”

I’m robbing God if I’m not giving the first 10% back to God, because it all came from him in the first place. Number one, God commands it.

You know, I’ve actually heard people say, “Well, tithing is Old Testament.” Anybody who says that has not read the Bible because tithing is taught through the entire Scripture. In fact, Jesus commended tithing himself in Matthew 23:23. Jesus said this talking about the Pharisees:

“Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn’t leave the more important things undone.”

“You should tithe”—underline that. That’s the words of Jesus. That’s not Old Testament. “Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn’t leave the more important things undone.” He’s saying this isn’t the most important thing, but just because it’s not the most important thing doesn’t mean you don’t do it.

It’s interesting to me tithing was the only thing Jesus commended in the Pharisees. That’s what he said. Guys, that’s the one thing they got right. Tithing is commended by Jesus.

It’s the physical expression that he really is number one. We looked at this verse earlier, Deuteronomy 14:23:

The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.

It shows that he’s number one.

Deuteronomy 8:18 says this,

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to
produce wealth . . .

You know, the Bible teaches wealth production, and the Bible says God gives us the ability to do wealth production. Every time I sit down and I write out my tithe check, it reminds me, “God, everything I have comes from you, and if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have anything.”

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 16:17:

Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.

If I make a lot, I give a lot. If I make a little, I give a little. It’s just the same proportion. It’s the 10% that God tells me to give. In Psalm 116:12 the Bible says, “How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me?” Well, tithing expresses my gratitude to God.

Now, I didn’t make that up. God says it in the Bible. In Malachi 3:8, 10, God says this:

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.”

What’s a storehouse? That’s the temple. It’s the place where you worship. The tithe goes to the house of worship as an act of worship. You don’t tithe to charity. You don’t tithe to the United Way. You don’t tithe to your cousin. Those are gifts; that’s charity. The tithe goes to the storehouse. You bring it as a gift in worship, as an act of worship to the house of worship. He says, “So that there may be food in my house.” Malachi 3:8-10.

Now, that’s pretty strong, but that’s exactly what God says. The Bible says that when I use God’s money to pay my bills, I’m robbing God. The Bible says when I use my tithe money to go to the movies or to buy a dinner or to pay my bills, I am robbing God.

These are very important things. God commands it, Jesus commends it, it shows he’s first place in my life, reminds me it all comes from him in the first place, it’s an act of gratitude, and God says if I’m not doing it, I’m actually stealing from him.

Now, there are two other reasons. Notice this:

Did you know that there’s only one place in the Bible where God says you can prove that God exists? When I was in seminary we learned the theological and philosophical arguments for the existence of God. We learned the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the ontological argument, Kant’s moral reproof, the argument by design, and all these different arguments for the existence of God. Did you know that in the Bible there’s only one place in the Bible where God says, “Here’s how you can prove, you can test me, you can see if I really exist”? He says, “Try tithing.”

The Bible says this in Malachi 3:10-11:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.

God says, “Test me.” God says, “Here’s how you could prove I exist. Try tithing.” Why does God say this? As I said, money tends to dominate our lives. It tends to become our God. The most sensitive nerve in the human body goes from the heart to the pocketbook, to the wallet, to the purse. When it comes to giving, a lot of people stop at nothing.

It proves—it’s putting your money where your mouth is. Jesus said:

“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”

In other words, if you love me, keep my commandments. One of the clearest commands in Scripture is “The first 10% goes back to me.” As I said, a lot of people say, “Well, tithing is an Old Testament principle. Actually, that’s part of the Law, and we’re free from the Law.” Actually, they’re wrong because tithing was invented and established before the Law was given. Long before Moses was given the Ten Commandments and the Law of God, God established tithing all the way back in Abraham’s day. It was pre-Law, so it’s not even part of the Law. It’s a life principle before the Jewish nation even became the nation of Israel.

Let me conclude this part of our study with this verse: 2 Corinthians 8:7–8. God says this:

Now I want you to be leaders also in the spirit of cheerful giving . . . This is one way to prove that your love is real, that it goes beyond mere words.

This is one way to prove that your love is real, that it goes beyond mere words. Tithing, this spiritual habit of putting God first in my money, is about growing in my faith. It’s about learning to trust God more. Now, we’ve looked at the benefits of giving.