Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tithes Before the Law

Excerpt from the book, Tithes and Offerings

Jesus told certain men that if they were indeed the children of Abraham, as they claimed to be, then they would do what Abraham did (Jn. 8:38-40). Jesus’ point was that the spiritual descendants of Abraham are the people who know God’s will and do it, as Abraham did. One of the things Abraham did was to render God’s tithes to Melchizedek. Do Abraham’s children not do the same?

From the examples of both Abraham and Jacob, we learn that tithing was not simply a commandment found in Moses’ law (Gen. 28:20-22). Abraham and Jacob lived hundreds of years before the law was given, and they both rendered tithes to God. Both of these men were righteous, and righteous people have always sensed what was good in the sight of God and then done it, law or no law. There were no laws, commandments, and statutes written down for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to keep, and yet they did the will of God because of their relationship with God. They knew His voice, and obeyed His voice as if what they heard was a law. God once told Jacob (Gen. 26:4-5), “I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and I will give to your seed all these countries. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

Paul said it this way: “The law is not made for a righteous man” (1Tim. 1:9). Paul was teaching here that godly people such as Abraham and Jacob did not need the law of Moses to tell them what was right, whether in the matter of tithes and offerings or anything else. Such people, Paul would say, were “a law unto themselves” because they had a heart for righteousness. Therefore, although they lived hundreds of years before the law was revealed to Moses, they still did what was right in the sight of God.