“I’m having a terrible time making ends meet,” admitted the head of a Church family as he counseled with a minister. “I don’t understand why,” he said. “I’ve been in God’s Church for many years. I have faithfully paid all my tithes. I have never missed a Holy Day offering. I haven’t robbed God of a single thing that was rightfully His. Why then, am I suffering the most humiliating and distressing financial hardship of my life?”
In a discouraged tone he continued, “I haven’t been able to find a steady job, I don’t have enough money to properly feed and clothe my family. I can’t even make a down payment on a used car. What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t God prosper me? Hasn’t He promised to bless the tithe payer? Aren’t God’s people supposed to abound with greater material blessings as they continue to obey His tithing laws?”
Far too many of God’s people – faithful tithe payers are just barely getting by. At the end of the month they have practically nothing left over to start a savings or to build up an emergency reserve. Some have been unable to pay their monthly bills. Why should so many be facing financial disaster when God has avowed to bless and prosper the tithe payer? Why aren’t all of God’s people becoming more prosperous each year, if the law of tithing really works?
Don’t misunderstand! Tithing pays big dividends! There is an invisible law in tithing that insures monetary increase when one unbegrudingly gives God His tenth. What many of God’s people don’t seem to realize is that they are under obligation to obey other laws equally as important to success as the law of tithing. You should know by now what these inexorable laws are, if you have been attending weekly Sabbath services and seriously reading and studying the Bible.
But knowledge is of no value unless it is acted upon. You must obey all these laws if you expect to continue receiving the marvelous blessings which God’s gigantic storehouse provides. If you are not receiving God’s blessings, then you are not doing all God requires.
The apostle Paul revealed why some do not prosper. He said “we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies” (II Thes. 3:10-11).
Your bible plainly states that a father who will not work and provide for his own home is worse than an infidel. Even though such a man is satisfied to barely eke out an existence, tithing alone will not make him prosperous.
Suppose that another man in God’s Church is generous with his tithes and offerings – even sends in more than his budget would allow. But he doesn’t take care of his health. He consistently eats too much starchy and greasy foods and too much candy, ice cream, and cake. This man has never learned to exercise willpower. He eats too much, eats the wrong kind of foods, doesn’t exercise and doesn’t get enough sleep. Then he wonders why he finds himself bedridden with such ailments as high blood pressure, stomach trouble, a liver disorder, or a host of other infirmities.
Tithe paying will not save from financial disaster a man who cannot hold a job because he has ruined his health by over-indulgence! Do you suppose God would somehow annul the penalty exacted from breaking His health laws just because this man was faithful in tithing?
God wouldn’t be true to His own laws if He did that. Clearly manifested in this example is the fact that tithing alone cannot guarantee financial prosperity as long as other immutable laws are transgressed.
Suppose a man makes a good salary but is a poor manager of money and literally “blows” his earnings on anything and everything his lustful eyes desire. God will not prosper the man who squanders so much of his monthly salary on things he doesn’t need that he hasn’t enough left to meet his monthly bills!
While such a poor manager may pay his tithes, how long can he hope to avoid financial disaster when he spends more every month than he has coming in? (Sounds like the United States Government). Should he expect God to emancipate him from every crisis, remove every hardship, and protect him from bankruptcy when he foolishly squanders his salary? NO!
Can you realize that for God to deliver a man from every plight, when that man makes no attempt to correct his mistakes, is to condone the sin? God does not condone sin! If God would shower great rewards on a man who mismanages his salary, He would only further encourage foolish spending and allow him to destroy his character.
How plain! We can’t succeed unless we give to God, in the form of tithes and offerings, what is His. But we must obey not only this one law; we must obey all other laws. We must obey all of God’s laws.
God leaves no doubt. More than just tithing is required for an abundant life. He specifically states in Joshua 1:8 another key governing success. God says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and thou shalt have good success.”
Did you notice he emphatically stressed complete acceptance of and total obedience to all His laws? He did not say “pay your tithes” and then you will find your prosperity and have good success. He plainly said, “observe to do according to all.”
This doesn’t mean you must be perfect to prosper, but it does mean you must be striving for that goal of perfection and not be knowingly delinquent in any aspect of Christian living.
The Great Lawgiver designed dozens of spiritual laws and principles to govern success. Obedience to one law by itself cannot produce success. Water is essential to good health, but water alone cannot sustain it, one must also eat, sleep, and exercise. In like fashion, tithing is one of many laws which makes for progress and prosperity, but tithing by itself does not make one prosperous if he is disobeying other laws of financial success.
The answer to the man who came to the minister and couldn’t understand why his tithing wasn’t getting results is simple. Even though he was paying his tithes, he was ignoring other spiritual laws of God. His poor management, his rebellion in carrying out instructions, his refusal to improve his general talents and establish a trade, his lack of enthusiasm – all contributed to his downfall. His obedience to the law of tithing could not revoke the penalty that disobedience to these other existing laws claimed.
In Deuteronomy 28 the Eternal unreservedly promised great and stupendous blessings to Israel if she would obey all His Commandments, verses 1-14. God promised 21 incredible blessings for obedience. What magnificent rewards obedience to God’s law brings! God promises disaster will strike down all heedless souls who with impunity break His laws. God warns, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearkened unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee” (Read them in Deut. 28:16-46).
God warns that these curses will surely come swiftly upon the disobedient. No true, long-lasting prosperity can be found in rebellion, only curses. If Israel is to be saved from captivity, and enjoy national prosperity, we as a nation must come to surrender fully to our Maker and obey all His laws.
Are you failing to prosper because you are hiding your sins? Solomon in his great wisdom was well aware of the grave consequence of trying to cover one’s sins. In Proverbs 28:13 he warned: “He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
A plain, simply answer as to why some fail to prosper is self-deception, refusing to evaluate one’s personal life according to the holy precepts of God, refusing to see what one is really doing wrong, and justifying one’s actions by placing the blame of God or others.
The man mentioned in the first of this article was guilty of this very thing. In his tone was an underlying accusation against God. After all, he was obeying the “big” law that promised material increase. Why then, after all these weeks, months, and even years of tithing, wasn’t God prospering Him? The answer is obvious. He would not honestly open his mind to examine himself, to look at himself as God saw him. The man was hiding his sins, through self-deception.
But why are new comers blessed when they don’t obey all of God’s laws? You must realize, brethren, that tithing may be the only major point of truth some people understand. As they act on it, God showers down the blessings. And through this physical means, they see that there are material advantages in obeying God. It awakens them to the reality of God. But as they grow in grace and knowledge and acquire additional truth, God expects more of them. If they reject new understanding and refuse to obey it, the blessings derived from tithing will diminish.
What is your main interest in life? Is it to gain material wealth, riches, treasure? Is it to have mammon in great supply in order to satisfy your carnal cravings and desires? Is this why you are tithing in the first place? It shouldn’t be!
Make your main goal to serve the Living God with all your might, to please Him no matter what the stakes might be, to seek His Kingdom above every physical goal. If you set your heart on things above and conscientiously try with your entire being to obey all of God’s laws, then He will provide your daily needs and will also add luxuries in abundance.
Do you really want to prosper? Then “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).