Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The Lord’s Portion
Terry R. Baughman
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
From the early days of biblical history the practice of offering God the firstfruits of the harvest was observed. Under the Law, giving of the firstfruits was established. The priests and Levites were the recipients of the gifts that the people brought as an offering to the Lord. This was God’s provision to sustain those who dedicated themselves to His service. “All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the Lord, I have given them to you. Whatever first ripe fruit is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours” (Numbers 18:12–13).
The giving of the tithe (ten percent) was observed even before the Law was given to Moses. Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils of battle to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God. The writer of Hebrews recorded, “Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, …” (Hebrews 7:1–2). God blessed Abraham for his giving and the principle of tithing was established.
The benefits are reciprocal. First the abundance of harvest provides for our needs and we offer gifts of thanksgiving to God, who in turn pours out more blessings on our lives. Blessings, both natural, financial and spiritual are returned to those who open up their hearts in giving. Tithing is a steadfast principle of Scripture, predating the Law and continuing to be observed after Christ came to the world.
The prophet Malachi attached conditions and blessings to the obedience of the tithing principle. It may be the only provision of Scripture where the prophet was instructed to “try the Lord and see” the abundance of blessings that will be returned to the giver. (See the text above.) More than a return of provision, there was also a promise of protection established. The Lord said, “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field” (Malachi 3:11).
We are reminded of the Lord’s promise to Joshua based on the condition of his faithfulness to the Word of the Lord, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7). Obedience to the Word of the Lord always results in the blessings of the Lord.
The practice of tithing and giving is a consistent reminder of God’s provision. Weekly, monthly, our according to our increase we are reminded that everything we possess is a blessing from the Lord. We honor the Lord with His portion and we find ourselves being blessed again and again. Thanks living is thanksgiving!
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4 NKJ).