PROVERBS 3:9 IS sometimes cited among preachers who promote the Tithe Doctrine. The Tithe Doctrine is the belief that Christians must pay God 10 percent of their income. They use Proverbs 3:9 as scriptural evidence to support their Tithe Doctrine. However, as we take a closer look at the verse and place it in context we find that the verse does not support the Tithe Doctrine, and it cannot be used as basis to justify “tithing” among the body of Christ.
Key points addressed in this lesson:
1. Solomon wrote that verse in the context of the Law of Moses.
2. The verse is not a reference to the tithe.
3. First fruits are not the same as the biblical tithe.
In the Proverbs 3: 9 King Solomon is reminding his son to keep the Law of Moses, and all its commandments. He tells him to honor the Lord with his substance. This is not a reference to paying tithe. Essentially, Solomon is telling his son to exalt, magnify or glorify the Lord with his material wealth or with the ways he lives his life. Although Solomon does not specify how his son is to honor the Lord it is clear that the word honor is not the same as the word tithe. If Solomon was referencing tithing the verse would have began with “Tithe to the Lord…” So it is clear that tithing is not the subject or focus of this verse.
Moreover, first fruits and the tithe are not the same. While both pertain to crops and livestock, first fruits are a specific reference to the first ripened crops and fruit of the harvest as well as the first born of the livestock. The biblical tithe is the tenth of crops and livestock.
Proverbs 3: 9 is not a decree or command for Christians to tithe in any form or fashion. It does not support the doctrine that Christians must pay God 10 percent of their income.
Certainly, as a Christian you can honor God with your substance (material possessions or life). But you must be clear that the verse does not associate honoring the Lord with the practice of tithing, especially as it is taught in the church today.
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