Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top. He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Jacob vowed 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 put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God’s house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you.”
We are born with a great deal of pride. We don’t even recognize how bad it is until God exposes it to us. Genesis clearly teaches us that mankind is a fallen race and can no
longer do good, but must die, yet, we seem to think that we can still do good if we want to. I think that’s why we like “second chances” so much. We think that if we just tried
a little harder then we would be perfect. When you walk with God for a while, you begin to realize that no matter how hard you try, you can’t live up to even a small part of
God’s righteousness. Jacob still had to learn about this in his relationship with God at this point. Fortunately, Jacob wanted to have a relationship with God.
After being scared that night about God, Jacob decided to make a deal with Him. If God blessed Jacob, then Jacob would “tithe,” or give a tenth of all of his goods to God. Notice that this wasn’t God’s idea. This was Jacob’s deal. God had already told Jacob in the dream that He was going to bless Jacob, but, evidently, Jacob felt he had to pay for it. This simply can’t work. Jacob was forgetting that he was a fallen human and would not be able to uphold his side of the bargain.
Fortunately, God had already made his deal with Abraham, Isaac and now with Jacob in the dream. He didn’t need to have Jacob’s deal. It’s kind of funny in a way. God had no need of Jacob’s money. He already made the world and everything in it and the world was corrupt anyway. We can’t really point at Jacob with out pointing at ourselves. For some reason, we think that we can make deals with God. Why would God be interested in what we offer? His interest in us isn’t because of our ability to produce, but in His desire to show love to those who didn’t deserve it. All this does is to show that we have a problem with giving ourselves over to the One who is far greater. By attempting to trade with God, we try to put ourselves on God’s level and separate our goods from His. That’s why tithing doesn’t make sense to a Christian. We belong to Jesus %100. If we don’t realize this, we have more to learn about what Jesus has done for us.