18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel;[e] but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.”
Just a couple of weeks into our Year of the Bible and we have already come to two instances of “tithing”. Here, Jacob, after a night-time encounter with God sets up the rhythm of accepting God’s blessings of guidance, clothing, and food, and pledges to give one-tenth (a tithe) back to God.
Some believers practice that almost as an obligation or tax. (“I have to give ten percent to God.”)
Other believers look at this as a good deal and an act of gratitude. (“Of all that God gives me, I get to keep ninety percent, and enjoy watching the blessings with the ten percent I give away!”)
As you’re working on this year’s personal budget, imagine all the good that can be done in God’s name, through the church, other charities, or spontaneous support of someone in need, with just one-tenth of your annual financial blessings.
God, as Jacob considered how You would lead him in new adventures, he promised to live on ninety percent of the blessing he received, and give ten percent for You to use in blessing others. Let me dabble this year in this equation as I too journey on as a follower. Amen.