What is Tithing?
Tithing means ten-percent. The scriptures say that we are to give 10-percent of our "increase", which is interpreted to mean income. The covenant of tithing gives us the opportunity to aid in building God's kingdom. Believers have a primary obligation to seek the kingdom of God, and paying tithes is a part of our Christian walk. The funds from tithing are used to support the ongoing operations of the church. Tithing is an act of faith; it is a sign of our belief in God the Father, Jesus the Son, the Holy Spirit.
Just as the song says:
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
(words by: William W. How, 1864)
The History of Tithing
The history of tithing begins in Genesis 14: 18-20:
18And Melchiz'edek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
The bible says that as the prophet Abram was venturing home with the riches/spoils of war after battling with a nearby king, he was met by a high priest in the order of God. This priest was named Melchizedek.
As soon as Abram (who later became Abraham) saw Melchizedek, the wisdom of his heart knew he was seeing one who was with God. Abraham had a divine revelation that it would be pleasing in the sight of God if he gave back 10 percent of all that he had in the world to the representative of God. In this act of Abraham the practice of tithing began.
When Abraham was blessed and then gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything, a spiritual covenant was created. In this covenant, humanity is to give a tenth of its increase (income) back to God. God, of course, is always fulfilling his part anyway, so the question is, are we lining up, are we fulfilling the covenant?