Sunday, September 16, 2012

360. Tithing TENsion #2: The Windows of Heaven

When tithing is talked about in church, chances are you'll hear Malachi chapter 3. Yet there are many pages of scriptures in the Old Testament that lead up to Malachi. You'll hear about the windows of heaven being opened to everyone who tithes to the church today. But in the context of the Israelites tithing a tenth of their food to the Levite tribe, we discover what God really meant by "opening the windows of heaven."

Also this week, some say that since Abraham tithed before the law, and we today are not under the law, then we should tithe. But what was Abraham's tithe? Can it really be compared with or applied to the concept of giving our income to a church?

Tithing TENsion #2: The Windows of Heaven (14 Min, 9.6 MB)
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  1. Hi Mike,

    On the subject of God opening up the windows of heaven (as mentioned in the tithing passage in Malachi), the church today uses these words to teach that God promises to give blessings to people who tithe to their local church. But Malachi's words were not spoken to the church, and have nothing to do with material or spiritual blessings as a reward for tithing.

    What had happened was that some of the people of the tribes of Israel had "forsaken the Levites." As we've mentioned in this series, the Levites were not allowed by God to provide food for themselves, because He wanted them to focus solely on their priestly duties. God had told the other 11 tribes to provide food for the Levites by giving a tithe of their crops and animals (food) so that the Levites could eat. But since the other tribes had forsaken the Levites, God sent Malachi with a rebuke to them, and told them get back to bringing their tithes to the storehouse so that the Levites could eat. ("That there may be food in My house").

    God told Israel:

    And try Me now in this,"
    Says the Lord of hosts,
    "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
    And pour out for you such blessing
    That there will not be room enough to receive it.

    11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
    So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
    Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,"
    Says the Lord of hosts;
    12 And all nations will call you blessed,
    For you will be a delightful land,"
    Says the Lord of hosts.
    (Mal 3:10-12)

    Again, the church teaches that God is promising spiritual and material blessings to people in the church who tithe. But in reality, it has absolutely nothing to do with that. This is all about food, and nothing else. God is simply telling them that they needn't withhold their tithes, because He will "pour out the windows of heaven." This simply means that He will make it rain. :) When it rains, the crops will thrive and no one needs to worry about going hungry, so there is not reason to withhold their tithes.

    All of this was in the context of the Old Covenant. It was all in the context of a system that no longer exists. None of this applies to the church today. But we felt we needed to address this because the church tries to make this all fit into the concept of "tithing to the church" today, and we wanted to put to death that whole idea.

  2. I think that the analogy is metophoric, using a physical analogy to bring home a Spiritual reality.
    All one's life they are storing up, trusting God along the way stores up grain in one's house and as it keeps storing up, one's cup overflows or windows open up and the grain, food, storage of good things overflows like when Joseph told the meaning of the Egypt kings dream and Joseph became the overseer then their was a drought and God's covenant to Abraham was saved, people came from a far and got food, the store houses were overflowing and they had food for the seven years of drought, just my opinion the windows were opened up to all who needed food. this was all from Joseph who chose to trust and listen to God.

  3. Thanks Joel and Kap for all you are setting out to do is set captives free as I know God wants all to see and therefore love as love was meant to begin with, and Jesus was and is the best example of doing nothing unless God says, and saying nothing unless God says, Let us all become only vessels trusting God being set free

  4. Indeed, if we wanted to somehow use this as an analogy, it would be like you said: It was all about trusting God to provide. I think I might've said that in the podcast as well. It wasn't about being rewarded with blessings for being obedient to a command, but rather God was telling them that they could trust Him to provide for them. There's no need for them (or us) to be stingy when God is our constant provider.

  5. Amen, it is for freedom that Christ set us free, so let's live in that freedom, and help as many people as possible to be free as well!

  6. Thanks so much for the explanation, this is one thing that set me free from the obligation of tithing.

  7. Hey Joel, and Kap, has not God been saying from the beginning just trust in him, put ones trust in him and somehow God sees us through, and the Mercy that is placed on us to show us his love, Wow! how can i not respond to this, It is not about tithing, giving, have to do this or that watch out for this or that it is about God's love and me, you or anyone responding to this, and if we do maybe there will not be so much confusion, just food for thought no pun intended as Kap said, thanks you all

  8. That's awesome, Mike!

    Amen, Howard!