Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Today’s quote is clearly not from the Bible, it is a popular phrase used to determine how committed someone is to a given idea or belief. If you believe what you say to be true, then…

“Put your money where your mouth is”. – Unknown Origin

Now, I contend, although this quote is not from the Bible, it is totally Biblical. Yes, I am going to write about tithing.

Firstly, if you are a Christian it is necessary that you be part of a congregation of believers as Paul instructed that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together and to meet together often. Secondly, it is our Christian duty to provide for the ministering of the Gospel and for the poor and needy among us. We therefore should be giving of our time and money.

Before Moses, starting with Abel immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve, and with Abraham and the patriarchs, true believers in God were marked by their faith and freely have a 10th of their increase to God. It was not by constraint, but willingly, giving out of their best in thanksgiving to a loving and just God.

Under the Law of Moses tithing was done by law, by constraint. There was the basic 10% tithe PLUS other required offerings throughout the year. And this was enforced by the Levites, Scribes and Pharisees. Was it a coincidence that the Apostle Matthew, of the tribe of Levi, was a tax collector?

With the coming of Jesus Christ, the law was fulfilled, and we are once again justified by faith not works, as it was before the Law of Moses. Remember how Abraham was described as a friend of God, that he believed God and it was counted as righteousness? That’s because actions are born out of belief, and Abraham believed and therefore obeyed God. And yes, he gave his tithes to Melchisedec who was a type of Christ.

Remember, tithing is not to be done to win the favor of God, but to give thanks and to demonstrate that you have full faith in Him who has saved you. Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commandments”. So we are obedient because of our faith, and our actions follow our faith. If you say you are a Christian, if you say that you love God, then put your money where your mouth is!


Comments

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is — 6 Comments

  1. The first time tithe is mentioned in the Bible is Abraham’s tithe of pagan spoils of war, and Abraham kept NOTHING for himself. This was NOT an act of worship. The goods that Abraham gave the tenth from didn’t even belong to Abraham:

    Genesis 14:21 (NIV) – The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

    Notice in verse 21 the king of Sodom didn’t ask Abraham if he would give back to him the people, but rather said GIVE ME the people and keep the goods for yourself. The way that is worded indicates that the king of Sodom was claiming that the people and the goods belonged to him and those he represented.

    Genesis 14:22-24 (NIV) – 22But 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 23that 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.’ 24I 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.”

    Notice in verses 23 and 24 Abraham also acknowledges that the goods belonged to the king of Sodom and those he represented.

    Therefore, it is clear that both the king of Sodom and Abraham acknowledged that the spoils of war did NOT belong to Abraham, yet he gave a tenth of the spoils to King Melchizedek. This would seem that Abraham did something wrong, if not even illegal, but Biblical historians agree that it was custom in Abraham’s day to give the king a tenth of the war spoils. Had Abraham not given the tenth, he would have gone against custom.

    Conclusion: Abraham did NOT give a tenth of his income, or his wealth. Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils of war that didn’t belong to him. That is NOT an example for Christians to follow today.

    The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve than giving ten percent.

  2. Nice to see you’re reading your Bible. I do agree with your premise about how we should give, but there are a few things you’re missing. Note that in the story of Abraham and his tithe to Melchizedek King of Salem, that Abraham had gone to war against the four kings who had initially conquered Sodom, taken his brother Lot along with the people and goods of Sodom. Abraham took back and thus rescued the city of Sodom from the hand of Chedorlaomer king of Elam. This was not a wrongful act as you say, it was restoring the city to its proper ruler. Since he rescued Sodom, the king of Sodom was obliged to pay but Abraham would not take payment because of his oath to God which you had pointed out. However, he did give a tenth to Melchizedek, who as we know from Hebrews 7, was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. It was Abraham’s faith and habit to give a tithe of all his increase to God, and the New Testament bears out that Abraham’s faith is a standard that Christians should aspire to today. BTW, it is not true that only farmers tithed. All members of the House of Israel were required to tithe.

    As for modern day tithing, yes I agree that we should give from the heart, generously and cheerfully according to our means. If someone does not have the means, then they should not be required and in many cases the church should provide for them. The standard of Jesus Christ though is that he wants everything, 100% of our mind, body, soul and possession. Look at the widow and the mites example – that is the standard. I could give a dozen more passages but time does not permit. So the modern day question is how do we manage our possessions and support the church and the needy? We give according to our ability, with a sincere heart, and use the principle of tithing as a guideline, as a target, but not by compulsion and not as a means to justify ourselves. If we can give more then we should, if we can afford only less, then we do what we can. And always remember, it came from God and belongs to Him in the first place. We are merely stewards, and there are practical ways we can manage His possession under our stewardship.

  3. Gary is wrong in saying that Abraham was not tithing to God.
    Abraham rescued the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah from those who had conquered them and carried them away. In response, the kings offer payment to Abraham. Abraham show that his actions were not based on gaining wealth but on the welfare of his nephews and the others taken captive. His response is to take what would rightfully been his and give it to the Lord. It was a gift, not of 10% but of 100% of what was offered. This truly came from the heart, which manifests a key to giving–it is not of force, but is a result of faith active in love.

  4. That’s the ultimate of putting your money where your mouth is. When you walk according to “the law” you would do 10%, but when you walk in “the spirit” you give 100%. That the difference between the law of Moses and the grace of Jesus Christ. Abraham knew Christ and saw His day, and accordingly, put his money where his mouth is.

  5. How about this: After the defeat of Triumvir Marcus Licinus Crassus at the Battle of Carrahe the disembodiesd head of Crassus was brought to King Oredes II along with the seven eagle standards. King Oredes then took molten gold and poured down the throat of the head saying “you came for gold, have it”. The account given in Plutarch’s biography of Crassus also mentions that, during the feasting and revelry in the wedding ceremony of Artavazd’s sister to the Parthian king Orodes II’s son and heir Pacorus in Artashat, Crassus’ head was brought to Orodes II. Both kings were enjoying a performance of Euripides’ Greek tragedy The Bacchae and a certain actor of the royal court, named Jason of Tralles, took the head and sang the following verses (also from the Bacchae):

    We bring from the mountain
    A tendril fresh-cut to the palace
    A wonderful prey.

    Crassus’ head was thus used in place of a prop head representing Pentheus and carried by the heroine of the play, Agave.

  6. This is absolutely hysterical! I but long winded, but hysterical nontheless. I’ve never before seen the phrase put your money where your mouth is illustrated so literally – I guess really it should be put your money where Crassus’ mouth is. Ha!

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