|Vol. 15 No. 4 April 2013||
Larry Huggins II
In the Old Testament some people chose to tithe. In Genesis 28:20-22, “Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You’” (NKJV). In the Law, the Israelites were commanded to tithe (Numbers 18:21-32). These Scriptures prove that tithing was practiced.
However, in the New Testament, Christians are not commanded to tithe. Referencing the Law, Paul wrote, “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). The apostle Paul also wrote, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). These passages are proof that we are no longer to tithe after the manner of the Old Testament. Instead, we are commanded, “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Also, we must do this in a proper manner. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). To the rich, Paul wrote, “Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:18-19). This proves that we must give with the right motivations.
It has been asked, “How much are we to give?” As the Scriptures stated, we are to give as we purpose in our heart: liberally, without grudging or reproach, and not out of necessity. I heard of a brother who, when the collection plate was passed, said he did not see the plate; rather, he saw the hand of Jesus outstretched. Under the New Testament, we have something that the Israelites never had: the forgiveness of sins. Perhaps that should help one to decide the amount to give.
Robert R. Taylor, Jr.
Hezekiah was not compelled to show his visitors all that was in his house, but he volunteered to do so (2 Kings 20; Isaiah 39:1-8). The prophet later asked, “What have they seen in thy house?” Hezekiah was foolish to show his treasures for it later led to the Babylonians returning to take them away.
Still it is a good question. What is there to be seen in our homes? If there is evil in our homes, we cannot always conceal it from our guests. If there is good, it likewise cannot be hidden. The all-seeing eye of heaven is aware of everything that happens in our homes (Hebrews 4:13).
Friend, let us ask ourselves, “What have they seen in our houses?”