Employment and Tithing

Offering Plate Church

The last time I was legitimately unemployed was during the summer after my freshman year of college. I had no desire to return to the restaurant work I had done throughout high school, so I took to applying for a variety of jobs at other places. I spent about 2 1/2 weeks searching for work, but never really found anything. I eventually asked for my job at the restaurant back.  As I prepare to graduate from college in a little over a week, I can’t help but think of how blessed I am to have a job.

I would say that my success in maintaining employment and thus financial security has come from three main areas: work ethic, strong saving habits, and an commitment to honoring God through my finances.  I believe the first two items are pretty self explanatory, if not, feel free to contact me. However, I would like to explain what I mean by honoring God through finances.

Honoring God with our finances is extremely simple. It starts with a mentality that everything that we have belongs to him anyway. Collossians 1:16 says, “all things were created by him and for him.” Acknowledging that the Bible is God’s word means that you acknowledge this statement to be true.

Next, you act out of obedience and worship by tithing. Tithing is regularly giving to God a portion of your income.  Tithing is not optional either. In Leviticus 27:30 it says, “A tithe of everything from the land whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord.” Abraham provides the model of tithing in the book of Genesis when he would give 10% of his income to the priest for God’s work.  I too give a tenth of my income to God before spending money on anything else.  This establishes God as the top priority in my life.  There is some debate as to how much money we are to give, but I would say that you should give enough for it to be a sacrifice but not a burden.

I’ve been tithing since high school and I must say that I believe God has really blessed me for obeying this commandment. I see it in my employment situation and in my finances.

4 Replies to “Employment and Tithing”

  1. What you have written is quite noble and very commendable but the big question is does this enjoy scriptural support? Is today’s Christian been commanded to tithe? I think not. There is no way we can try to bring this doctrine into today’s church without falling foul of the word of God.

    Even though the scriptural reference you provided does not once mention a tithe of money, today’s church still try to use it as proof text that today’s church must tithe money. What was the context of that verse and who was God giving that command to? God said a TITHE of the land was His and went on specify what makes up this tithe – grain from the soil and fruit from the trees. Money is not even mentioned. And what land was He referring to? The land of Israel alone! Putting all of these together, we see that scripture defines the tithe as a tenth of grain from the soil and fruit from the trees from within the land of Israel alone. Making it rather impossible for today’s church to tithe seeing that we do not live in the land of Israel.

    However, that is not to say we are exempt from giving towards God’s work. In the New Testament, no minimum is commanded instead we are encouraged to give what we can afford willingly and cheerfully. Be it 1%, 5%, 10% or 100%. God bless.

  2. For an agrarian society, the only “income” is what a farmer produces on his land. I would highly doubt that they had as sophisticated of a currency system 4000 years ago as we do now. So I believe that it is reasonable to suggest that a farmer’s yield was his income and thus the closest equivalent to a paycheck.

    Needless to say, you highlighted a bigger issue. If this passage only is referring to the land of Israel and it’s people (an area that the Hebrews had not yet reached at the time Leviticus was written), then would it stand to reason that everything else written in the Old Testament (and it the Torah especially) is applicable only to Hebrews? Unfortunately for your argument, I can’t find anywhere it says that the land is specifically talking about that of the Hebrew people.

    The trouble I am having with your argument is this: How can one say that the “land” is 100% definitely Israel and that the “tithe” is 100% definitely not able to be applied to our modern form of income?

    Nevertheless, the purpose of this article (albeit not the corresponding discussion) remains the same: I have chosen to be grateful for my financial/employment situation, I will share my story, and I will continue to be grateful for what I have regardless of my circumstances.

  3. One argument to support non-food tithing is that money was not universally available and barter from food was used for most transactions. This argument is neither biblical nor historical. Genesis alone contains money in 32 texts and the word occurs 44 times before the holy tithe is described in Leviticus 27. Gold is in Genesis 2:12. The words jewelry, gold, silver and shekel also appear often from Genesis to Deuteronomy.

    Abram was very rich in silver and gold (Gen 13:2); money in the form of silver shekels paid for slaves (Gen 17:12+); Abimelech gave Abraham 1000 pieces of silver (Gen 20:16); Abraham paid 400 pieces of silver for land (Gen 23:9-16); Joseph was sold for silver pieces (Gen 37:28); slaves bought freedom (Lev 25:47-53). Court fines (Ex 21 all; 22 all), sanctuary dues (Ex 30:12+), vows (Lev 27:3-7), poll taxes (Num 3:47+), alcoholic drinks (Deu 14:26) and marriage dowries (Deu 22:29) included money.

    Joseph gave Benjamin 300 pieces of silver (Gen 45:22). According to Genesis 47:15-17 food was used for barter only after money had been spent. Banking and usury laws exist in Leviticus even before tithing. Therefore the argument is false. Yet the holy contents from Leviticus to Luke never include money from non-food products and trades.

  4. Steve,

    The crops and animals raised on the Holy land was NOT the Israelite farmers’ income. Their income came from the sale and/or barter exchanged of those assets. In Deuteronomy 14 we learn that if the Israelites had too far to take their tithe they could sell it for MONEY, and then use that MONEY to buy the items for the feast. That in itself proves they had a marketing system to buy and sell their crops and animals. Yet the tithe was not on their income. It was on the assets which come from God’s hand, or from the miracles of God, not from man’s income.

    You stated that Abraham provides the model for tithing. Do you follow Abraham’s example, or do you follow what you think Abraham MIGHT have done?

    Abraham (Abram) gave a tenth of war spoils that didn’t even belong to him. During the days of Abram it was custom to give a tenth of the spoils to the King. Abram kept NOTHING for himself. Is that the example or model you follow? There is no scripture to show that Abram ever tithed on his regular income or wealth. Furthermore, did God even want a tenth of the war spoils? Looking ahead to the Mosaic law, during the time of Moses God on required 1.1% of the spoils, not a tenth.

    In Numbers 18 God commanded His tithe be taken to the Levites. There is NO scripture where God ever gave any pastor, priests, or church permission to receive His tithes and/or gifts.

    You can’t change God’s own definition of His tithe, and His ordinances as to where to take His tithe, and then claim you are being obedient to God. If anything, that is being disobedient to God’s Word.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

    You should let the Spirit guide you in your giving.

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