5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
8And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Num 21: 5 – 9)
I am sure you may be wondering what relationship exists between the brazen serpent and tithes, well we will soon find out.
In the above portion of scripture, the children of Israel murmured against God and Moses prompting God to send serpents into their midst. When they repented God asked Moses to make the brazen serpent and lift it up onto a pole so anyone who looks at it shall live and it was so.
The children of Israel must have found it truly amazing and may have begun to think to themselves that the brazen serpent might hold a lot of power. So much so that their descendants began to worship it and burn incense to it.
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. 2 Kings 18: 4 .
They may have tried to justify their actions, twisting bits of scriptures to support this abhorrent practice. To the uninformed, they may have produced a good argument –”looking at the serpent saved our ancestors! The serpent definitely possesses divine powers!” That may have been their thinking.
Anytime scriptures are taken completely out of context we would always have occurrences like this. Rather than look to understanding God’s mind for today, we tend build shrines out of past moves of God. Before long, we slip into idolatry holding these past moves above God Himself.
Tithing has become a modern day brazen serpent! No doubt that at the time God commanded it tremendous blessings came to those who obeyed. But today something bigger than that is present – The sacrifice of Jesus! This sacrifice has replaced the need to perform different ceremonial acts to gain God’s favour. You are protected because of the blood, your needs are met because of the blood, you are part of God’s family because of the blood, you receive favour because of the blood and it is something you obtain by grace and not by observing a so called “eternal principle”.
This so called principle has completely taken the place of God in the hearts of many. Those that demand it as a requirement for church membership are in grave error, others that claim that God only prospers you, heal you or meet your needs only when you tithe are guilty of distorting scriptures.
If God made no such assertions in scripture, then am afraid we are burning incense to the brazen serpent if we promote this so called doctrine.