I WIll Surely Give The Tenth Unto You
Genesis 28:16-22 – “And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that You shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto You.”
CHAPTER 28 OF GENESIS marks the beginning of God’s special dealings with Jacob. Actually, one could say that this is the beginning of the “making of a man.” Isaac had pronounced blessings upon Jacob. Those blessings were:
In spite of the blessing, conflict in the person of Jacob’s brother brought contention and forced him to flee and become a lonely wanderer. Yet in the midst of this, God revealed Himself to Jacob in a dream. In this dream, Jacob saw a ladder that reached from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. It was during this time that God revealed Himself to Jacob and gave him a promise.
GOD’S PROMISE TO JACOB
Verse 15 gives us God’s promise to Jacob. It is as follows:
“I am with you.” This is God’s promise to us, as well. If you are saved, the Lord says to you, “I am with you.”
“I will keep you.” The Lord has too much invested in you to let you fall by the wayside – if you won’t quit.
“I will bring you again unto this land.” Don’t let circumstances and opposition hinder your work and your journey. The Lord will see you through and bring you back to where He wants you.
“I will not leave you until I have done all that I have spoken to you.” The Lord will complete the work through you that He has spoken.
As stated, God’s promises to Jacob are our promises as well. Grab hold of them and don’t give up or let go.
In Verses 20-22, the text states: “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s House: and of all that You shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto You.”
This is the first vow to ever be recorded in the Word of God. In Verse 20, the word if is used; however, as George Williams brings out in his commentary on this verse, the word since should have been used as Jacob was making this declaration after receiving God’s revelation and His promise of blessing. I believe that is correct.
WHAT WAS JACOB’S VOW?
Jacob’s vow was that he would give the tenth unto God, speaking of tithe, which is what the word tenth literally means. So we see here that long before the law of Moses was given, tithing to the work of God was God’s will and plan. When the law of Moses was given, Israel was commanded by God to give 23 and one-third percent of its income. Ten percent was for the upkeep of the temple, 10 percent was for the priests and Levites, and 3 and one-third percent was for the poor and needy.
From this we see that in both the old and new covenant, the Lord has chosen the giving of tithe as the means by which His work is to be carried forth, and also, as the means by which He blesses His people.
Under the new covenant, tithing reverts back to its original meaning, the tenth. In the old covenant, the firstborn of both men and beasts belonged to God (Ex. 13:2, Lev. 27:30-34). Today, under grace, the firstborn represents the first tenth of our income; hence, 10 percent belongs to God.
A TENTH OF WHAT?
In Jacob’s day, there was no temple, no high priest, and no money. So how would Jacob give the tenth to the Lord? His tithe was every tenth lamb, and the means of payment was sacrifice. This tells us how holy our giving is in the eyes of God.
All of this speaks of the Cross. In Ephesians 5:2, Paul says: “Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.” Notice how the Holy Spirit directly likens our giving to the Lord to the sacrifice of God’s Son on Calvary’s Cross. Every time we give our tithes and offerings, they become a sweet smelling savor in the nostrils of God. This should make us realize how serious our giving is to the Lord. Simply put, if you want God’s blessing on your life, family, and finances, you must learn to be a faithful, consistent giver to the work of God. The word bless means “increase.” The Lord wants to increase everything in your life; however, the degree of increase is directly tied to your obeying the Word of God as it regards giving.
WHERE DO I PAY MY TITHE?
Malachi 3:10 says, “the storehouse,” which refers to the temple and the cities of the Levites under the old covenant. Under the new covenant, the storehouse refers to where one’s soul is fed, whether it be a local church or other means, such as TV. The church is not a building, an institution, or a denomination. It’s not a place; it’s the message that must be supported. In closing, you must also understand the Lord won’t bless you if you are giving to that which is “another gospel.” If your local church is not preaching the truth and you know it, then to give to that which is wrong is a sin. If what you are supporting is not causing you to grow, learn, and mature in Christ, then don’t support it. If you are growing and maturing, then your vow must be, “I will surely give the tenth unto you.”
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