Blessings So Great, There’s Not Enough Room to Receive Them

Chris Genetti is pastor at Living Waters Tabernacle of Exeter.

Long before God issued His laws to Moses and anointed kings over man, Abraham offered and instituted the first tithe to the Lord. We find that in Genesis 14. Abraham had gone into battle, rescued his nephew Lot, and had won certain spoils as the victor. As there was no law, and no direct command from God obliging Abraham to give back a tenth, what then was his motivation? In the absence of Moses’ Law, the first generations of man were left to worship God according to their own consciences. Abraham knew that his victory, and all that he possessed, was a gift from God. It was simply out of his heart that he felt a moral imperative to give to God in appreciation for all that He had done in his life.

Twenty-five years ago, when I was just barely married, raising little children, and trying to afford my first mortgage, the concept of paying 10% of my paycheck was really hard to reconcile. We are told in the Scriptures that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. In Malachi 3:6, God speaks, “For I am the Lord. I do not change.” Knowing this to be true, would not what pleased God in Abraham’s time please God today? This really struck me as I was reading. I wondered what more I was missing in regards to giving and receiving from God.

God continued in verse 8: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” The Holy Spirit was beginning to show me that God had delivered to me an amazing wife. He had entrusted me with three beautiful children, and even blessed us with our first home. When God speaks of the people robbing Him, He is referring to the fact we are not giving Him all the glory, all the credit, and all the praise for what He has afforded us in our lives.

God continues, saying, “And try Me now in this.” Almost to say, Let me prove it to you! “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.” I’m sure many of you have heard the saying that you cannot out give God! And this is certainly what the Lord is expressing. But that’s not all. In the next verse God proclaims that if we make this sacrifice, He will go further and build a hedge of protection around your home. He will also protect us from Satan’s attack. “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.”

I know these scriptures to be true firsthand. Shortly after we moved to California, my wife was laid off from her job. Our house out of state had not yet sold. With three hungry mouths to feed at home, we were paying a mortgage and rent. We found ourselves desperate. One Sunday, after much angst and worry, I took my wife by the hand and we went to the altar to deliver, what was to us, a sacrificial offering. We left all of our fears and anxiety at the altar. After months of suffering an unforeseen future, the very week that we met God at the altar our house sold and my wife was offered a job with double the pay and benefits! As the Scriptures say, if God takes care of the sparrows of the sky, are we not more value than they?

Tithing offers us a few benefits. First, active tithing forces us to be good stewards over our family’s budget. Second, we begin to forsake the norms of this world and begin to practice what the Bible describes as Holy. Third, God challenges us to have a better relationship with Him and to have a greater understanding of what it’s like to be a tither through Christ. Last but not least, if you begin to explore the practice of tithing, God expressly promises to protect you from the attacks of Satan specifically pertaining to your employment, finances, family, and home!

Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors, and guest laypeople, of area churches.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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