Granny and Puss Harvey
One afternoon, my son in-law’s Granny was watching a TV evangelist while holding her cat, Puss Harvey, on her lap. Puss was sick and Granny was deeply concerned. The TV preacher’s sermon was very timely; how important our pets are in our old age. He said that God even cared for the sparrows, so it was scriptural that God cared for our beloved pets.
The TV preacher announced that if your pet was with you and sick, hold it against the TV screen and he’d pray for that pet. Granny grabbed Puss Harvey, held him against the television and agreed in prayer for healing. The prayer finished, the Televangelist proclaimed that if you REALLY wanted to INSURE that your pet was healed, send an offering of $100. Granny pointed at Puss Harvey and said, “Puss, you gonna DIE!”
Of course, “Granny” did take her pet to the veterinarian and was faithful in her monetary support of her local church where she attended. It’s so easy to get the wrong attitude toward giving; especially when we rely on televangelists to interpret the scriptures for us. The scripture does say, in both the Old and New Testaments, to tithe and to give offerings. (Genesis 14:20, Genesis 28:20-22, Leviticus 27:30-32) (I Corinthians 16:2, II Corinthians 9:7)
The tithe is such an important part of our covenant with God that not only are there instructions to give the tithe, but specifics about how the tithe is to be used and cared for. (Numbers 18:21, Deut.12:5-11, Deut. 14:22, Deut. 26:12, Nehemiah 12:44.) In the Old Testament, we also find what happens when the tithe is misused or neglected and the blessings that ensue when the tithe is used properly and given faithfully (Malachi 3:8-10)
In Hebrews 7:5-9, Abraham’s tithe is used to illustrate the significance of changing over from the Old Testament priesthood to the New Testament blood covenant. The New Testament mentions tithing as a part of what is required but specifically states that the tithe is not the ONLY thing that is required of God’s people if they want to prosper (Matt. 13:23).
The ‘tithe thing’ is one of the most often given grievances people have against the church. Yet, people have no complaint against social clubs, gyms, recreation parks, and organizations that require money in order to attend, participate or join. Oddly, people agree that cost is part of upkeep for having a nice facility and great programs; but they have issues with funds being requested at a house of worship. (?)
Unlike worldly gathering places, God does not say if you don’t tithe, you can’t come to church. The scripture does say if you do tithe, you will be blessed and if you don’t you remove God’s blessings. The choice is ours, either way; we are still covered with the blood of Jesus, forgiven f our sins and welcomed into fellowship. Since I want all the blessings God offers, I pay my tithes plus more.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Prayer I love you, my Lord. Open my eyes to see that everything that I have comes by your blessings. Help me to understand the principle of giving and to give with a willing and thankful heart. Teach me to be generous and to realize that it is impossible to out give your blessings.
Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Genesis 18:20-22 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Leviticus 27:30-32 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it. The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD.
I Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
II Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Numbers 18:21 I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.
Deuteronomy 12:5-7 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.
Deuteronomy 14:22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.
Deuteronomy 26:12 When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.
Nehemiah 12:44 At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites.
Malachi 3:8-10 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Hebrews 7:5-9 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, their brothers—even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,
Matthew 13:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.