I am so grateful for the process of writing scriptures out. I learn so much that is too often missed by reading alone. I was only going to write verse 7 and then jump to verses 13-18 but as I started writing, what I originally thought was a random subject stuck between a question and its answer is really...it's a HUGE part of the answer! See being taught all the time that tithing had to do with money is deceiving because the way it's stuck between these verses would seem the Lord is "greedy" and upset that we're not paying Him back a little but when He gives us everything.
BUT that's not all...in verse 7 the Lords says "return unto me", then talks about tithing... Wait, go back. God talks about being robbed when questioned with, "Wherein shall we return?" The Lord has been robbed because He DOES give us everything, not just money! We are cursed, separated from Him because of that, way more separated than we realize or admit. He tells us how to resolve that in a step-by-step fashion: tithes and offerings.
See thinking about tithing as money alone is truly misleading because if we will "return" back to God a tithe of money only then we are still robbing Him because admittedly He gives us EVERYTHING!!! We have to realize the real tithe He is seeking for, where we really return unto Him is with our time and our talents, yes, but mostly with our heart where our will is found. If we live lives submitting to the will of the Father and then utilizing our time and talents to fulfill what He requires, then He will have "meat" in His house. God will have people of substance in His house, wherever that house may be: the temple, the chapel or the street. The street? Yes, the street! See tithing all of who we are gives God the ability to put people on the street to do His work. When we don't pray or study our scriptures or truly tithe, not only are we robbing Him but we are not returning to Him but drawing ourselves further away, contrary to what we believe. For all He does for us...that's surely robbery ESPECIALLY when we have the audacity to ask for more when we pray.
The Lord needs "meat", people of substance, not adults who are still drinking milk from the gospel table after years of apparent gospel study. Think about it, when He is about to use us of course the windows of heaven are opened to us. And the devourer passes our harvest by. That harvest is those people we have been led to witness to. The scriptures don't say "by their fruits ye shall know them" by accident. It's CLEARLY synonymous or connected to the parable of the talents. That's what made me think of tithing being about more than money actually.
Most people say the parable of the talents (a form of $) is really about our talents or gifts; magnifying and multiplying them. But I've also heard it's really about money! It's about investing wisely and handling our money correctly. That's why the message of tithing, which most people assume is about money, turned into a message about talents for me. Because if we can say money is synonymous with ability in the parable of the talents, then the same must be true with tithing. Makes so much sense if we use a common phrase today: time is money, literally and figuratively.
The time we give to God should be synonymous or equal to the money we give to God. Before we enter the temple, the covenant is tithing, after it is consecration...of everything. (added 9/16/2013)
I also feel like this is striking me is because the Sunday School lesson we had on the Law of Consecration is still on my mind. The one thing I didn't say is that the law of Consecration is a preparatory law. It's not a replacement to the law of Consecration. In fact for those who have been to the temple we are under the law of consecration now even if The Church is not requiring it. Our covenant is not with The Church, it's with the Lord. The law of tithing is to prepare us for that whether we're talking money or otherwise. If we cannot tithe our time, talents, gifts, abilities or most importantly our hearts, we will not be faithful in the Lord and He cannot be faithful to us. We are NOT faithful in the Lord and it's obvious we are not honoring the covenant we made in the temple. It's evident that is what is going on...SAD!
People are digging into the earth (the world) and burying their talents there. OUCH! The Lord is not pleased. WOW! It fascinates me that the Lord kinda defends Himself in the next couple of verses because He says the people's words have been "stout against me". I imagine these are His chosen He is talking about, the HOI. Stout means "determined, bold, brave"; "forceful : powerful"; "staunch : firm". We speak against the Lord boldly because we look at our situation and think that God is not mindful because, in ours eyes, the proud are "happy". And those that "work wickedness are set up" in high places with big bank accounts and worldly gain. And "they that tempt God are even delivered" to the lives of affluence.
BUT as the Lord has stated...He that exalts Himself shall be abased. Because the Lord is letting them do what they do, ignoring them really because He is hearkening unto those who fear Him and are gathered to speak often with one another. These are they who God remembers and their names are recorded in the book of remembrance. For surely what they did not receive in this life they will attain in the next and they will be spared, "as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." In that day, those who mocked and.or spoke stoutly against the Lord will CLEARLY be able to discern between those who were righteous and served God and those who did not. And there it is! WOW!
I calculated tithing on time. It's 144 minutes per day, 2 hours and 44 minutes. I get it. If we cannot live this law, how will we be able to consecrate everything? I see Father, I see. I see clearly. Prepare the space for me to speak this word if that's Your desire, when it's Your desire. When it's Your time, I will speak with Love and sharpness. Thank You for declaring it to me in the same way.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Originally written Tuesday, April 23, 2013