What is the True Purpose of the Tithe?
Gen. 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
This is the earliest mention of the principle of the tithe in Scripture. This restriction on the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil demonstrated God's ownership and Adam's stewardship. The only reason God could impose restrictions in the Garden for Adam and others was simply because He was the owner! Adam's sin was in acting like he was the owner, not the steward.
Malachi 3:10,11 says, 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. And 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, says the Lord of hosts.
Because God is the owner, He will:
- Protect your Person. (for your sakes)
- Preserve your Possessions. (the fruit of your ground)
- Promote your Posterity. (nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field)
The true purpose of the tithe is to demonstrate God's ownership and man's stewardship. The tithe establishes the ground of future investment. After demonstrating ownership of the ground, we can then sow seeds of giving into God's good ground. It is only after establishing God's ownership by tithing that we can then expect a harvest of 30, 60, and 100 fold return on the sowing. (Matthew 13:8)