The tithe is one-tenth of a man's net profit or earning realized out of his business or employment. It is a donation, which is divine. The offering of such donation confers prosperity on his vocation. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if l will not open you the windows of heaven, --- and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Mal. 3:8-10
So also when a person neglects to offer the tithe he ruins his business.
Invisible locusts devour what he has sown for he has neglected very much the holy institution of God. Some of the important members of these invisible locusts are debt, reckless and undue expenditure, wanton waste, unthriftiness, depravation by thieves, sickness and business worried. Man has too many troubles and one can only save himself from them by the offering of the tithes. "And l will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." Mal. 3:10-12
Since the early days, God honors the offering of the tithe and regards it as an act of worship as it is an act of remembrance of Him, an act of gratefulness to Him for his loving kindness, tender mercies and gracious salvation and maintenance of all his creation; and also an acknowledgement of Him as the Supreme Being. For these three major reason, He blesses the soul of the giver, the giver's earthly body and his business as well as that all these should prosper. He endows the giver with righteousness, faith, courage and the Holy Spirit. Above all He bestows upon him long life and He regards him as his servant who maintains his people, animals, the disabled, orphans and the poor. The Lord does not shorten the lives of such givers but He lengthens them so that they can continue to do his good service of maintenance.
The early fathers, Abraham and Jacob, also paid the tithe. Jacob appreciated the full significance of the offering of the tithe, therefore, he promised to offer it to the Lord should He bless him and he return prosperous from Mesopotamia where he was going to visit his uncle Laban with nothing in hand but only a rod. Gen. 28:22; Prov. 3:9-10
So if anyone is out of a job or is not faring well in business he, like Jacob, ought to make similar promise to the Lord and God will surely respond. But dare not delay the fulfillment of this promise.
Abraham also offered the tithe to the high priest Melchizedek, king of Salem, "And blessed be the most high god, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And he gave him tithes of all. " Genesis 14:20
Again, the Lord himself said all the first fruits of the earth should be his. "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruits of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord." Levit. 27:30
But we all become robbers of God because we ignore the offering of the tithe; "Even form the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and l will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." Mal.3: 7-8
And so our wealth becomes worthless, and those whose wealth is of some worth are deprived of the necessary health so as not to be able to enjoy their wealth. Even the lucky ones who are able to pile up a great wealth are deprived of long life so that, they do not enjoy their acquisition for long because they are all robbers of God.
The New Testament also affirms the significance of the offering of the tithe.
Refer: 2 Cor. 8:1- 8 & 12; 2 Cor. 9:7; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 5:4
But above all, the offering of the tithe serves as saving and nourishment for the future and the life hereafter; because it is these tithes, which provide our needs in the life thereafter. Many there are who appreciate the significance of the offering of the tithe but they offer this with grudge and selfishness. These sorts of offerings are not acceptable unto God for, the more the offering the greater the savings. "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Prov. 11:24
So also are some people who only offer the tithe according to the greatness of their wealth and omit the weightier matters of the law of god. Matt. 23:23
It is worthy of us to offer tithes however small our wealth may be. Whatever God gives us we should offer tithes of the same proportionately.
How the Tithe Should be Given
The first offspring of any animal is the Lord's. "All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord they God: thou shalt do no work with firstling of they sheep." Deut. 15:19
And all others that may be sold the expenses should be deducted and the net profit divided into ten parts and one given unto the Lord. Also, the first crop yield of the farm should be given unto the Lord and when subsequent yields are sold the net profit should be divided into ten parts and one part given unto the Lord. Salary and wage earners should deduct their normal expenses from their monthly earnings and one-tenth of the net earning should be given unto the Lord.
All tithes are for the Lord and the chief of the ministers is entitled to this for the ministry. Heb. 7:7; Gen. 14: 20; Deut. 14:22-25
Because the earning power of the giver is graciously bestowed on him by the Lord, there is no reason why the giver should in any account indulge in vain boastings of his gifts to the Lord. Because of this it is a curse for a member of the society or the church to advertise his efforts or the results of his efforts in behalf of the church. His punishment will be as that of Nebuchadnezzar who was punished because of his vain boasting.
God has endowed the chief ministers with the spirit of appeasement, teaching and supplication on behalf of mankind; so when church members receive their blessings from the Lord, they should in turn thank Him for his gracious mercy. He has also endowed his chief ministers with the power to bless his people to achieve their attainments in the form of wealth or greatness as Melchizedek blessed Abraham. Heb. 7:17
As such it is obligatory on the members of the Society to obey the head of the church who possesses the divine power to bless them to become kings, ministers, merchants, farmers etc. Without obedience we cannot realize the blessings of God; for, obedience is evidence of our respect and humility to God.
It should be realized that all blessings flow from god and all should flow back to Him. Is it not out of three grains of corn that so much multiply that we get a barn of corn? We ought not to boast nor refer to our donations to god as He alone is the author of all good things and He alone can boast. May the grace of God the most High, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit abide with you all to do every righteous work with good grace of the Lord. Amen.