Within a few months of the revival in Hezekiah’s day, people began to tithe according to God’s word, “And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the LORD. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of the all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.” 2 Chronicles 31:4 – 5.
When the pastor announces a sermon on tithing, some people yawn and think, “Oh brother, not again; all he talks about is money, money, money. I guess we are behind in the budget.” But not in revival. When God’s Spirit begins moving, almost immediately, people will give; not reluctantly, but willingly; not stingily, but abundantly! It was so in Hezekiah’s day. May it be so in our day.
The word “tithe” means tenth. God told His people to give Him a tenth of what He blessed them with each year. It was a sacrifice of gratitude for all that God had blessed them with. It was to be enjoyed in His presence, in worship of His goodness and generosity (Deuteronomy 14:22 – 29). The purpose of giving the tithe was to teach Israel to fear the LORD. Tithing is an essential element in learning true worship. It is not given because God needs it to operate His Kingdom; no. God needs nothing. He is sufficient all in Himself. It is given in order for you to learn of Him, to worship Him in spirit and truth.
Tithing is a sacrifice. When you begin to experience the sacrifice of tithing, you begin to learn of the sacrificial nature of God. God gives and gives and gives because He loves, loves, loves. As you give, you learn to love Him by learning of Him. This is what it means to worship the Father, to learn of His love and to know Him more and more. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
In Hezekiah’s day the people gave so much that they had to pile the produce up in heaps, “And the people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of the dedicated things that had been dedicated to the LORD their God, and laid them in heaps.” 31:6. It goes on to say in the next few verses that for five months the people continued to bring in the tithe and continued to create these great heaps.
In Hebrew, the word “heaps” is the word aremah, and means to pile up. But the unusual thing about this word in these verses is that it is repeated twice each time it is used; as in aremah aremah. When the Hebrew language emphasizes something it will repeat the word twice. But this is rare. Only on a few occasions do you find this, and you find it hear. You get the picture that the tithe was piled up, piles upon piles, heaps upon heaps; in other words, abundantly! It goes on to say that they gave so much that they had to open up new storerooms for all that the people were bringing.
Revival brings about heaps upon heaps of obedience to God’s word, willingly and abundantly. Today, as you ask the Father to teach you to worship Him in spirit and truth, be prepared to learn to fear Him and learn of His sacrificial love by giving to Him a tenth of all He has blessed you with; willingly, abundantly, worshipfully, faithfully, and most of all lovingly.