Who Came Up With the Idea of the Tithe?
Delivered By
From Pastor Lee
Delivered On
November 3, 2022
Who Came Up With The Idea of The Tithe?

Who came up with the idea of the tithe? What does the word tithe mean? Starting with the second question first because it may be easier to come closer to an exact answer, and most of us who attend church have some idea of what it is, it basically means giving a tenth of our income (to the church). That is not incorrect for it does mean from what I have read to give or be taxed a tenth of what one produces whether it’s money, crops, livestock, etc. In answering the first question about the origins of the concept of tithing we can find it is in the Bible. However, before referencing scripture let me share that tithing may have been around before the Hebrew people were led out of Egypt by Moses. Some years ago, I was at a workshop on stewardship. The workshop was for pastors and was to teach us how to lead congregations into being better stewards. I remember learning that day that tithing was evident in other early civilizations that may have even predated the formation of the Hebrew people into the nation of Israel. It is believed that tithing was done in other civilizations to appease the gods. Sort of like paying off the mafia so as not to have any harm come to you or your family. Only after tithing was introduced in the Old Testament (Genesis 14:20, Leviticus 27:30-34, Deuteronomy 12:6) was it done not as “payment for protection,” but as gratitude for God’s blessings.

During the month of November, we have our annual Loyalty Sunday. This year it will be November 13th . How appropriate it is to have it just before Thanksgiving, to prayerfully plan and respond to God’s goodness to us by committing to demonstrating our gratitude for the year coming up. Thanksgiving, though it comes every year during the month of November is not limited to just a once a year showing of our gratitude towards God. God blesses us continually in so many ways and showing gratitude should not be limited to a certain season or time of the year. Nor is gratitude just about saying “thank you,” though it is very important to verbalize it. Genuine gratitude goes much deeper than the words we speak or fail to speak. It touches the heart and affects the way we think about ourselves, others, and God. It leads us to not only seeing that we need God and others, but how to respond appropriately by giving to others and to God.

I will never forget the story a pastor once shared with us at a conference I was attending. He shared how during his childhood his father who was the town drunk was restored to sobriety and to Jesus. The pastor recalls the first Sunday his family ever went to a church, his father got everyone up and announced they were going. They thought he had lost his mind because they never went to church. So, they asked him why he wanted them to go with him. His answer was to give thanks to God, period. Isn’t that why we come Sunday after Sunday? Isn’t that why we give? Or maybe we don’t because we don’t realize how blest we are. May God open the eyes of our hearts to see what God has done, is doing, and wants to do with our lives so that we too will be filled with gratitude, genuine gratitude.