God promises to bless those who keep His law of tithing. But what if you tithe faithfully and still face financial disaster? Why are you not becoming more prosperous each year, if the law of tithing really works?
There is another important consideration every Christian needs to remember.
More than tithing required
Don’t misunderstand. Tithing pays big dividends. There is an invisible law in tithing that insures monetary increase when one un-begrudgingly gives God His 10th.
What many people don’t seem to realize is that they are under obligation to obey other laws equally as important to success as the law of tithing. You must obey all God’s laws if you expect to continue receiving the marvelous blessings which God’s gigantic storehouse provides. If you are not receiving God’s blessings, then you are not doing all God requires.
The apostle Paul revealed why some do not prosper. He said: “We commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies” (II Thess. 3:10-11). Paul warned Timothy, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim. 5:8).
Your Bible plainly states that a person who will not work and provide for his own home is worse than an infidel. Even though such a person is satisfied to barely eke out an existence, tithing alone will not make him prosperous.
True Christians should be willing to work harder than anyone else on the job. They must be willing to make money for their employer. Any person who is lazy cannot help but reap shame, poverty and defeat after defeat.
Must exercise self-control
Suppose that the true Christian is generous with his tithes and offerings. Perhaps he even sends in more than his budget would allow. But he doesn’t take care of his health. He consistently eats too much starchy and greasy food and too much candy, ice cream and cake, for instance. This man has never learned to exercise willpower. So he eats too much and the wrong kinds of food. Doesn’t exercise. Doesn’t get enough sleep. Then he wonders why he finds himself bedridden with such ailments as high blood pressure, stomach trouble, a liver disorder or one or more of a host of other infirmities.
Tithepaying will not save from financial disaster a man who cannot hold a job because he has ruined his health by overindulgence. Do you suppose God would somehow annul the penalty exacted from breaking His health laws just because this man was faithful in tithing? No.
God wouldn’t be true to His own laws if He did that. Clearly manifested in this example is the fact that tithing alone cannot guarantee financial prosperity as long as other immutable laws are transgressed.
Suppose a man makes a good salary but is a poor manager of money and “blows” his earnings on anything and everything he ever desires. God will not prosper the man who squanders so much of his monthly salary on things he doesn’t need that he hasn’t enough left to meet his monthly bills.
While such a poor manager may pay his tithes, how long can he hope to avoid financial difficulty when he spends more every month than he has coming in? Should he expect God to free him from every crisis, remove every hardship and protect him from bankruptcy when he foolishly squanders his salary? No.
Can you realize that for God to deliver a man from every plight — when that man makes no attempt to correct his mistakes — is to condone the sin? God does not condone sin! If God would shower great rewards on a man who mismanages his salary, He would only further encourage foolish spending and allow him to destroy his character.
How plain. We can’t succeed unless we give to God, in the form of tithes and offerings, what is His. But we must obey not only this one law — we must obey all other laws and we must follow all laws of success.
Key to success
God leaves no doubt. More than tithing is required for an abundant life. He specifically states in Joshua 1:8 another key governing success: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Did you notice that God emphatically stressed complete acceptance of and total obedience to all His laws? He did not say “pay your tithes” and then you will find your prosperity and have good success. He plainly said, “Observe to do according to all!”
This doesn’t mean you must be perfect to prosper, but it does mean you must be striving for that goal of perfection and not be knowingly delinquent in any aspect of Christian living.
The great Lawgiver designed dozens of spiritual laws and principles to govern success. Obedience to one law by itself cannot produce success. Water is essential to good health, but water alone cannot sustain it — one must also eat, sleep and exercise. In like fashion, tithing is one of many laws that make for progress and prosperity, but tithing by itself does not make one prosperous if he is disobeying other laws of financial success.
The answer to that man who can’t understand why his tithing isn’t getting results is simple. Even though he is paying his tithes, he is ignoring other spiritual laws of God. His poor management, his rebellion in carrying out instruction, his refusal to improve his general talents and establish a trade and his lack of enthusiasm all contribute to his downfall.
His obedience to the law of tithing cannot revoke the penalty that disobedience to these other existing laws claimed.
Promised blessings for keeping law of God
In Deuteronomy 28, the Eternal unreservedly promised great and stupendous blessings to Israel if they would obey all His commandments.
In fact, God promised 21 incredible blessings for obedience. What magnificent rewards obedience to God’s law brings! But mark well the fact that the Eternal stipulates obedience to all His laws. And besides natural rewards, God Himself will also supernaturally add even more blessings, if one humbly submits and obeys.
This law provides for every human need for our own good in a living, active, continuous relationship with the all wise, all-powerful, all-loving God. When we mediate fully on the ten commandments, we can see that God provides the means for mankind to have pure religion, happy families, a right social life, and wealthy economies. Never did God intent that His law be oppressive or destructive. In fact, the law can be summed up in one powerful word – love
The Bible irrefutably proves that obedience guarantees success. But with equal certainty the Bible guarantees that disobedience brings failure. God promises disaster will strike down all who with impunity break His laws. God warns, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee” (read them in Deut. 28:15).
God warns that the curses He went on to enumerate will surely come swiftly upon the disobedient. No true, long-lasting prosperity can be found in rebellion — only curses.
Now, at this point, many will say the New Testament is not under the law, and that Christ did away with the law. That, however, is far from what your Bible really says. Read the scriptures:
- Jesus Christ clarified, illustrated and amplified the 10 Commandments – Matt.5:19-20
- If we love God, we must keep the commandments – John 14:15
- If we want to enter into eternal life, we must keep the commandments – Matt.19:17
- Love is the fulfillment of the law – Rom.13:8-10
- If not for the law, we cannot even know what sin is – Rom.7:7
- Unless we keep the law, we do not know God and are liars for saying so – I John 2:3-4
Are you hiding your sins?
Are you failing to prosper because you are hiding your sins? Solomon in his great wisdom was well aware of the grave consequence of trying to cover one’s sins. In Proverbs 28:13 he warned, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Some fail to prosper because of self-deception — refusing to evaluate one’s personal life according to the holy precepts of God, refusing to see what one is really doing wrong and justifying one’s actions by placing the blame on God.
But don’t people who have only recently learned about the truth prosper when they start tithing? Why are they blessed in giving a 10th even though they don’t obey all of God’s laws?
You must realize that tithing may be the only major point of truth these people understand. As they act on it, God showers down the blessings. And through this physical means, they see that there are material advantages in obeying God. It awakens them to the reality of God. But as they grow in grace and knowledge and acquire additional truth, God expects more of them. If they reject new truth and refuse to obey it, the blessings derived from tithing will diminish.
God commands, “Become ye perfect.” Obey new truth as it is revealed to you.
Seek the Kingdom first
What is your main interest in life? Is it to gain material wealth, riches, treasures? To have mammon in great supply in order to satisfy your carnal cravings and desires? Is this why you are tithing? It shouldn’t be!
Make your main goal to serve the living God with all your might, to please Him no matter what the stakes might be, to seek His Kingdom above every physical goal.
If you set your heart on things above and conscientiously try with your entire being to obey all of God’s laws, then He will provide your daily needs and will also add extra blessings in abundance.
Do you really want to prosper? Then, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
Source: The Good News, June/July 1980