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Spiritual Illumination – The Second Motivation of Tithing

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Spiritual Illumination – The Second Motivation of Tithing

Abraham’s grandson, Jacob was not a very godly kid. In fact, he was very deceptive. The name, Jacob actually  meant deceiver, trickster, manipulator. He was concerned about “what’s in it for me. ME first!”

In Genesis 28, we find Jacob running for his life after he deceived his older brother, Esau out of his birthright.

We see the blessing of God was on Jacob even though he was not living for God. Because his grandfather, Abraham, and father, Isaac were faithful tithers.

Tithing doesn’t just benefit me. It benefits generations to come.

Notice God’s blessing on Jacob. “May God Almighty bless you, make you fertile, and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. 4 May he give to you and your descendants the blessing of Abraham so that you may take possession of the land where you are now living, the land that God gave to Abraham.”[1]

God meets Jacob in a powerful, spiritual dream. Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. When he came to a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had gone down. He took one of the stones from that place, put it under his head, and lay down there.  He had a dream in which he saw a stairway set up on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and coming down on it. The Lord was standing above it, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give the land on which you are lying to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be like the dust on the earth. You will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. Through you and through your descendant every family on earth will be blessed. Remember, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will also bring you back to this land because I will not leave you until I do what I’ve promised you.” Then Jacob woke up from his sleep and exclaimed, “Certainly, the Lord is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” Filled with awe, he said, “How awe-inspiring this place is! Certainly, this is the house of God and the gateway to heaven!”[2]

There was so much about God that Jacob was blind to and ignorant of, but God removed the scales from his eyes in one encounter. Jacob had an immediate reaction to God’s touch. I must tithe! Where did Jacob’s response come from? He was taught to tithe by his grandfather, Abraham and his father, Isaac.

Through this spiritual illumination, his eyes were opened.

Until your eyes are opened to the power and beauty of tithing, it’s hard to see it. When we tithe we see God in a new way. We see giving in a new way—not as obligation but as it truly is—a spiritually illuminating experience.


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[1] Genesis 28:3-4 GW

[2] Genesis 28:10-17 GW


About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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