There are ten character tests that we all have to pass to get from our dream to our destiny. We’ve studied seven and this study is the:
Every person takes the prosperity test before they step into their destiny. This simply means that God wants to prosper His children so that they can be a blessing to others. Every time we get paid, who are we going to honor first? If we can’t pass this test, more than likely, the rest of our life will not be in order.
Genesis 41:33 – “Now, therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. (This is Joseph speaking after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.) (Verse 34) “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. (Verse 35) “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
(Verse 36) “Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Joseph’s plan was so good that he literally fed the multitude of people during that seven-year famine. Other nations came to Egypt to buy grain. During that time, Egypt’s land was extended because people traded their land for grain.
Let God be first, wait, and live below our means. Genesis 47:26 – And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh’s. The land was God’s. He is the one that gave it to the priests. That land represented the tithe to God from the Jewish people.
Here is one principle that a lot of Christians just don’t get: You will never be able to afford to tithe until you do it. We tithe first and there will be plenty left over. Surely you know that tithing removes the curse? And until we tithe, we are under a curse, but as soon as we tithe, the curse is lifted.
Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. (Tithing is a test of our character. It’s a matter of the heart. When people want to argue about tithing, it reveals their heart. Why would anyone want to argue about being blessed?) (Verse 9)You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. (Verse 10) Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. (Verse 11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts;
We live in a fallen cursed world and God is saying, “I would like to redeem your finances out from under the curse.” So what is this principle of the first?
Exodus 13:1 – Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (Verse 2) “Sanctify to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, birth of man and animals; it is Mine.” God uses the same terminology when He talks about fruit and the tithe.
Malachi 3:12 – “that you shall set apart to the LORD all that open the womb, that is, every firstling that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the LORD’s. (Verse 13) “But every firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. Any first “thing” given is never lost. Any first “thing” kept is always lost. The tithe is going out of our account whether we give it or the devourer takes it.
The Firstborn Must Be Sacrificed or Redeemed
If their animal was unclean, then they had to redeem it with the sacrifice of a clean animal. If the firstborn, like a lamb, was born clean, then they had to sacrifice it. If the firstborn was unclean they had to redeem it with the sacrifice of a clean.
Simple question: Were we born clean or unclean? We were all born in sin – unclean. Now, was Jesus born unclean or clean? The clean had to be sacrificed so the unclean could be redeemed! Jesus is God’s tithe. Tithing brings the blessing because we give it in faith. Faith releases the blessing. God gave Jesus in faith. God gave Jesus while we were still in our sin. God didn’t wait to see if we’d straighten up before He gave Jesus, He did it before! Christ died for us while we were yet sinners!
God gave and sacrificed His Firstborn as a sacrifice so that all the unclean would be made clean – Redeemed! When we give the first portion to God, the rest is redeemed.
The Firstfruits Must Be offered
Exodus 23:19 – “The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God.” Scripture doesn’t say “give” when talking about tithing. We can’t give what doesn’t belong to us. We can only “Bring” it. Over and above the tithe is an offering, but the whole tithe belongs to the house of the LORD.
So do you remember what happened when they conquered Jericho? God said all the silver and gold belong to Me. He said that because Jericho was the first city. (Joshua Chapter 7) Then Achan kept some of it and it was cursed! The firstborn and the firstfruits belong to God. Why did God accept Able’s offering but not Cain’s?
Genesis 4:3 – And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. (notice it doesn’t say that he brought the “firstfruits.”) (Verse 4) Able also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Able and his offering, (Verse 5) but He did not respect Cain and his offering.
The Tithe Must Be First
Leviticus 27:30 – “And all the tithe of the land, whether of seed of the land or of the first of the tree, is the LORD’S. It is holy to the LORD.”
When we set aside money for the month’s bills, the tithe is first, not the mortgage company. If we give God’s first, there will be enough to pay the rest. Now don’t be legalistic about it to the point where if you buy food first, you’re cursed. That’s dumb. It’s a matter of the heart when it comes to the tithe. Does God know you put Him first by your actions? Just don’t curse your finances.
Exodus 13:14 – “So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Verse 15) And it came to pass when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the LORD killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all firstborn of my sons I redeem.” ‘
Let us never forget that we too were once in bondage, before Christ redeemed us. We didn’t always have what we have now. When God blesses the tithe, He makes sure to rebuke the one that comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. If we will place Him first in everything in our lives, He will bless the rest. This is about so much more than just our finances.