Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Life Lessons from Biblical Marriages and Parents: Abram

Tithing is a very touchy issue to many.  A common thought is, "If I give my money to God, I won't have enough to pay my bills."  Many times, in fact, pastors stay away from the topic of tithes because they feel that if they bring it up they may lose a portion of the congregation who get "offended" when they feel that the "church" is asking for money.  If a pastor does choose to preach on the topic, he usually prefaces the sermon with the disclaimer that this is only the 2nd sermon on tithing he has preached in so many years and he is only broaching the subject because it is the next verse in their verse by verse study of a particular book in the Bible.  So sad!

However, tithing is a wonderful way to show your faith in God's provision for your life. 

The last time we looked at Genesis, Lot and all he possessed had been taken captive.  In today's account, Abram takes his trained men (318 of them) and goes after Lot.  After defeating the four kings who had banded together to attack Sodom and its neighboring cities, Abram not only brought back Lot and all that he possessed, but he brought back the loot from the battle. 

Melchizedek, the King of Salem and priest of the Most High God (who many scholars say was a type of Christ because of the many similarities between the two), came out with bread and wine (communion?) to serve Abram after his victory.  Abram, seeing Melchizedek as a priest of God, gave him a tenth of the spoil that he had taken in battle.

The king of Sodom later told Abram to give him the people (as subjects and servants, I assume) and keep the rest of the goods and items for himself.  Abram's response is priceless.  "I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal th0ng or anything that is yours lest you should say, "I have made Abram rich."" Genesis 14:22-23.

Abram showed who he believed was his provider.  I believe because of the tithe that he gave and his refusal to accept riches from a wicked king, God gave him riches beyond compare.  We all know based on the Bible how much land God gave to Abram and his family.  As Abram continued to wander, he increased in property, servants, and herds.  Abram's descendants are the number of the stars and the sand.  And the greatest blessing of all is that Jesus came through the line of Abram. His riches came from the Lord, not man.
By tithing, we are depositing into the greatest bank known to mankind.  And when we find ourselves in a time of need, if you have been a faithful tither, have you noticed how the provisions come pouring in with no clear or apparent reason?  Since the beginning of our marriage, Brian and I have faithfully tithed, and I cannot even begin to tell you how many times it seems the "interest" on our tithes came rolling back to us when we needed it the most.

God is good. God is faithful.  God will provide for our needs according to His riches in glory.  Be faithful to Him.  Believe me, the "interest" earned surpasses any percentage a human bank can offer.

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