Closed Fist – Missed Blessings:
Every year during the month of October we celebrate the Lord’s harvest which is proportionate to the people’s blessings. Although the word tithe (10%) was first recorded in Genesis 14:20, the concept may be seen in the actions of Abel immediately after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. It was Abel, a man of his word (dedication), who gave his first (best), systematically (tithe) and for it God declared him righteous; “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4) The tithe is an acknowledgement of your faith and an appreciation of your blessings. But it does not pave your way to heaven. It systematically funds the mission of the church according to the received blessings of the saints.
God does not change nor do the things which He has declared to belong solely to Him; the first, anything dedicated and the tithe. (Leviticus 27:26-30) Some have tried to dispensationalize these truths. In other words, it is often heard that tithing is an Old Testament Law or ritual and that now we are to give as we see fit.
While many have bought into that deceivingly gracious caveat, they fail to see the benefit of the tithe. Religion today is second to none in the category of big business. The billions of dollars that churches raise annually is not due to God’s plan but man’s. It is man who charges the perishers to enter the House of God, to witness the performance of a celebrity. (Matthew 21:13) It is man who uses the word tax in the church to represent a special offering for a particular auxiliary or group. (Daniel 11:20) It is man who says “unless you tithe you cannot be saved” and then encourages you to make it rain with dollars falling on the pulpit. (1Timothy 6:10) It is man who has determined that you cannot be trusted to represent your faith with commitment and dedication therefore he institutes multiple collections. (2Timothy 3:13) It is man who celebrates the gifts of those who give generously and shames those who do not. (Matthew 6:1)
It is God who says; “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10) Abram gave the tithe to the Pre-Incarnate Christ and the Lord gave him an undeniable legacy; “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;” (Genesis 26:4) God is not asking you to give Him yours, He is asking you to return His’; “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.” (Psalm 50:12)
If one’s hand is closed in a fist to try to hold on to what is ‘theirs’, it denies them the opportunity to bless others. But far worse is the blessings missed because their hand was not open to receive them. When man persists in closing his fist to God’s plan, God sends a storm to pry it open. While businesses continue to stuff their coffers with profits, unemployment continues to be the #1 issue in our economy. However, with the devastation suffered from the hurricanes, wildfires out of control and deadly earthquakes, and the rebuilding that will need to be done because of them, God will pry open the ‘closed fists’, forcing businesses to hire, funds released to the needy, and ‘man’ to become better stewards of God’s resources. Remember, it is not that which you receive that speaks of your diligence but that which you give; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) No, this does not speak solely of money; it speaks of matters concerning judgment, mercy and faith. (Matthew 23:23) Each rightly precedes Godly giving, tithe and offerings. In the judgment, tithing is one thing that no one will be able to deny having had the ability to do. No excuse!