Abraham’s Tithing Preceded His Accounting

In Who Do You Attend To First? I said that tithing to God should be a medium of expressing love and honor to God, and not a matter of mathematics. Let’s continue to examine the model of Abraham:

During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods, and brought back his relative, Lot, and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
~Genesis 14: 17-21

After winning the battle against King Kedorlaomer and his allies, Abraham completely ignored the king of Sodom, and first gave Melchizedek – the priest of the Most High God – a tenth of everything that he got as plunder from the battle.

Afterwards, the king of Sodom, still seeking some notice, approached Abraham and told him to keep the rest of the booty. He was merely trying to act kingly and seek for notice, because in reality all the booty belonged to Abraham who won the battle. I was a bit amused when I read this part the first time, because he really didn’t have any right over the booty. Moreover, Abraham, without any reference to the king of Sodom, had already started distributing the booty by first giving the priest of God a tenth of everything.

Abraham successfully fought those kings, and made a daring rescue. So, the booty rightfully belonged to him. He could have taken everything if he wanted to; the king of Sodom no more had any right over the things he came to claim.

“But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you; not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me – to Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. Let them have their share.’”
~Genesis 14: 21-24

Nevertheless, Abraham refused to take any of the remaining plunder after his tithing. He didn’t want the king of Sodom to brag later that his captured property and people had made him rich. But he made sure that his friends who fought with him at the battle got their rightful share of the booty.

Essentially what Abram said to the king of Sodom was, “It’s up to me to take the booty, but I’m not going to do so. Because if I do, you will go around and start saying that you made me rich. Nevertheless, the guys that fought with me – Aner, Eschol, Mamre – will take their share of the booty. Then, you can have whatever is left.”

More importantly however, I would like you to observe that Abraham’s tithing to God came before he shared the booty among his friends and the king of Sodom. Abraham’s tithing came before his accounting – that’s worship.

You must always mind what comes first in your life.

Abraham’s tithing preceded Abraham’s accounting – that is what is called cheerfulness; that is what is called generosity. Before ever he started counting, he simply looked at everything that came and took out ten percent and gave to God.

It’s worthy of note that He did not remove the cost of the battle before tithing. The battle definitely cost him things, but he didn’t take out the cost of the battle before tithing. He didn’t remove the share of the king of Sodom before tithing. He didn’t remove the share of his allies before tithing. As soon as he got everything, he took out a tenth and gave to God. His tithing was an expression of worship to God.

Memory Verse:
Genesis 14:18-20

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Prayer:
Father, I choose today to worship You by tithing to You first before considering other concerns, in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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