As God’s child, giving to Him is simply an avenue for expressing your allegiance and gratitude to Him. At the core of Christian Giving is the practice of tithing. Giving to God should be a matter of cheerfulness, generosity, and love. Giving to God should never be a matter of mathematics. It should never be a function of calculations and computations.
Let’s take a look at Abraham – who was the first example mentioned in God’s word as someone who voluntarily gave a tenth of all to God. Note that tithing was his means of expressing his absolute loyalty and allegiance to God.
“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.
The king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.’ 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: 15-24
To help you understand my point in the above narration, I will reconstruct the story.
Abram’s nephew, Lot, lived in Sodom. At some point, the king of Sodom with four other kings went to war against a king, Kedorlaomer, who was oppressing their kingdoms. The king of Sodom and his allies lost the battle, and their food, property, and subjects including Lot were carried off as plunder by Kedorlaomer and his own allies. When Abram was told about this, he went after the kings with his friends to rescue Lot. Abram won this second battle and successfully rescued Lot, and all the other subjects of the King of Sodom with their property and food.
As Abram was on his way back from the battle with all the booty, the king of Sodom came out to meet him. However, Abram ignored him, but paid attention to the second king who met him – Melchizedek, priest of God Most High.
Now think about this: it was the king of Sodom’s nation that was initially attacked; so it was his people and their possessions that constituted the booty. Yet, Abraham simply ignored him, and focused on God’s priest. Abraham acted in this manner because his loyalty was first and foremost to God. He did not acknowledge the king of Sodom before he acknowledged the priest of God.
Who do you attend to first?
And on what basis do you attend to the person first?
As you go through life as a Christian, you must be careful who you attend to first. You must be careful of the premise on which you design your priorities. Many Christians have what I call misplaced loyalties. Some Christians honor the governor before they honor the prophet. While some honor the wealthy before they honor the anointed. This happens most of the time.
Abraham knew where his loyalties lay; his loyalties were first and foremost to God. The king of Sodom went out to meet Abraham with joy and happiness. He could see his ministers, servants, wife, children, and property with Abraham; and he expected that they will be handed over to him. But, something else happened. I just love what Abraham did. Abraham walked past the king of Sodom like he never existed. Rather, he first honored Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God by giving him a tenth of all the plunder.
A lot of Christians today are confused about their loyalties. They give honor to men before giving honor to God. They give honor to things of the flesh before giving honor to things of the spirit. If you want to be a great man before God, you must always know where your loyalties lie. God must be first in your life.
After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodomcame 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.
O Lord, help me to honor You and the things associated with You first before honoring other things, in Jesus’ name.