Wealth: Asár [עשר]

Deuteronomy 8:18  “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

(Moses speaking to the Children of Israel.)
What is it about the subject of money that causes such “Spirited discussions,” to put it nicely, among Christians?  Some even trip all over themselves trying to prove they’re not “Materialistic,” so called.  Perhaps they are are afraid of being labeled as such.
What Is Materialism?
How do you tell if a person is materialistic?  Is it someone who has many possessions?  Someone who is very wealthy?  Actually, no.  None of the above.
Wealth and riches in and of themselves do not constitute “Materialism.”  The question isn’t, “Are you rich?”  The question is, “Do you possess your possessions OR DO THEY POSSESS YOU?”
What does the Bible say on the subject?  Fortunately, God has plenty to say.
Jesus Himself dealt with it quite frequently while He walked this earth.  According to the opening verse, God is clearly in favor of wealth, though He doesn’t just give it to anyone.  If He wasn’t, why would He give us POWER to get it?
Two Kinds Of Tithing.
Wealth and tithing are actually closely related.  It should also come as no surprise that the Hebrew words for both wealth and tithing reveal some surprising things.  You’d never find out these things merely from any definition, and it also gives us a window on God’s perspective, and enlightening topic we will explore further on in this article.
The principle of tithing predates the law by several hundred years.  You may be surprised to learn that there are TWO kinds of tithing in the Bible:  The kind that Abram offered to Melchizedek, King of Salem and the one demanded by Mosaic law.  The former carries with it blessing and promise; the latter offers nothing except a curse if omitted.
Let’s examine the passages of scripture that pertain to each.
(Abram gives Melchizedek a tithe of all he had.)
Abram Meets Melchizedek.
Remember the meeting between Abram and Melchizedek?  This King of Salem, also called “Priest of the Most High God,” blessed Abram after he returned from rescuing his nephew, Lot.
Melchizedek offered him bread and wine, after which Abram did something amazing.
Though he lived 430 BEFORE the Ten Commandments were given, he offered Melchizedek a tenth of everything he owned.  
Now, obviously, he was never under law, yet he knew to give a tenth of all his possessions.  #1: How did he know to give a tithe, and #2:  Why did he do it?  Let’s follow the story.
Genesis 14:18-20
18″And Melchizedek, King of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  19 And he {Melchizedek} blessed him {Abram}, and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, (Elyon) possessor of heaven and earth:  20 And blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.
And he gave him tithes of all.”
Reading Hebrew scroll
Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
Who was this shadowy figure, Melchizedek, king of Salem?  The Old Testament doesn’t really shed any light on who he was, but the book of Hebrews does!  Check out chapter 7:1-3:
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.”
Melchi means “King,” and “Tsedek” means “righteous,” in Hebrew.  He was also King of Salem.  Salem comes from the root word, “Shalom,” which means, “peace.”  So,  He was the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace!
Then we read he was “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life….”  Sound familiar?  It should.  Could this be any ordinary man?  Of course not!  This was our pre-incarnate Jesus!  
Great High Priest.
“But isn’t Jesus. Our Great High Priest, you ask?  Yes!  But back then, long before the cross, He could only be called “Priest” of the Most High God.  He couldn’t even be called, “High Priest,” like Aaron was, unless there were other lesser priests over which to be higher.  At the time of Melchizedek, he was the only priest of his kind.
After Jesus’ death, resurrection,  and ascension however, having fulfilled all the Law and redeemed us by His blood, He sat down at the right hand of His Father.  THEREFORE, GOD HIGHLY EXALTED HIM and gave Him the Name that is above every name.  He is rightfully now called “GREAT High Priest.”
Unlike those of the Levitical system, He lives after the power of an endless life, a priest FOREVER according to the order of Melchizedek, having no lineage and no beginning or end.
We, Church, are just like Jesus.  We also have become priests and kings according to the order of Melchizedek, too.  He is now Great High Priest because all of us are the “lesser priests.”
 –
Out of Melchizedek’s mouth came ONLY blessing and NO curse.  In response to the blessings spoken over him Abram gave Melchizedek “tithes of all.”
This King Priest then offered Abram bread and wine.  That’s communion!  Holy communion brings to remembrance Jesus’ death, of course, and the verse below tells us WHY HE RESPONDED WITH THE TITHE.
Hebrews 7:8 says:  “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he {Jesus} receives them, of whom IT IS WITNESSED THAT HE (JESUS) LIVES.”     
Just as communion shows forth Jesus’ death, tithing is evidence of His resurrection.  It is proof THAT HE IS ALIVE!!!
Law Tithing.
In stark contrast to tithing under the Abrahamic covenant of Grace is the Levitical law of tithing:
Leviticus 27:30  “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.”
You see?  That’s all it says.  The tithe is “holy to the Lord,” having Only demand; NO PROMISE.
More Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
Now let’s look at more of what the Hebrew language reveals.  In the opening verse it said “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you POWER to get wealth, (Why?) that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
The subject of wealth sparks so much discussion in the Church primarily because it is misunderstood and thereby misinterpreted, albeit unintentionally.   To hear some preach it you’d think it a curse to be rich!  Nothing could be further from the truth.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the wealthy person realizes it, God is the One Who gives the increase.  The “Sad Rich,” for lack of a better term, are simply those who don’t have their priorities in order.  By sad I mean they’ve perhaps lost their family, their health, or both on the way to the not-so-glorious “Top.”
But our wonderful Abba doesn’t want that for us.  He shows us how to be “Happy rich,” if you will.
Health And Wealth “Gospel?”
Whenever these two subjects, “Health and wealth,” come up, invariably you hear some well-meaning person say, “Oh, you’re preaching that health and wealth gospel,” as if they think they’re protecting holiness or something.  This may come as a surprise to you but HEALTH AND WEALTH IS NOT THE GOSPEL. GRACE IS.  
Health and wealth go hand and hand with the REAL GOSPEL, like it or not.  Where Jesus is, there can be no lack and no one sick.
Wealth doesn’t only mean finances, though they are certainly included.  When Jesus spoke to his disciples in the upper room, He bequeathed to them, “Peace.”  “Peace I leave you.”  The Hebrew word for “Peace, ” is “Shalom.”  The definition of this word, even the Hebrew letters themselves, are very revealing and give us a glimpse from God’s perspective.
(For more on that topic, follow the link below:

Abram was rich in both cattle and livestock:  That means materially.  We are not blessed simply for our own gain, but so that we can turn around and bless others.

When Jesus was here on earth, He went about doing good, “Healing all who were sick or oppressed of the devil.”  THAT’S HEALTH.  He also provided for the needs of people, like the feeding of the 5,000, for one. THAT’S WEALTH.
Jesus was always healing, always providing. Physical health and wealth, meaning prosperity, go hand in hand wherever He is present, folks.  In His presence, how can there possibly be any lack? 
David wrote, “The LORD is my Shepherd.  I shall not LACK.” He knew that God wanted us to prosper in every area:  Socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and yes, financially.  We are blessed, not only for our own benefit, but as I said, TO BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS.
Focus On Jesus!
But we don’t need to focus on the blessings.  We focus on Jesus!  You see, when you are conscious of GOD’s love for you and understand you are completely righteous in Him, blessings naturally follow.  He gives you His SHALOM, which includes financial blessings.   Don’t apologize for them.  They are simply part of the package.
Secrets In The Hebrew Letters.
Hebrew reads right to left and is a form of picture writing, like Chinese.  Let’s look at Hebrew letters for the word wealth:
 [עשר]  Asár
[ע] Ayin is a picture of the “eye;” Yes, the ones in your head.
[ש] Shin, when it stands alone, means “Shaddai, Power, Almighty God.”
[ר] Resh means “Head, source, leader.”
Your head, hopefully, is where “Thinking or meditating” takes place.  The”Rosh” in “Rosh Hashana (New Year),” for instance, means “Head of the year.”
Put all the word pictures together and wealth to God means you “See God as your head/leader/source.” 
You see, we plant the seed, but IT IS GOD WHO GIVES THE INCREASE.  Often, those who have been greatly blessed by material wealth become the objects of ridicule, sadly, by fellow Christians. This should not be.
As you can you see, in the word “Asar,” God is showing us how to be wealthy but end up “Happy rich,” if you will, having our priorities straight and families intact.
The Tithe.
Now, let’s look at the Hebrew word for tithe:
[מעשר] Ma-asér
The letter [מ] “mem” has been added to the word “asar.”  Mem [מ] is a picture of water flowing, which means either “Spirit,” most often, “The Holy Spirit.”  These pictures explain how to properly offer the tithe:
“The Holy Spirit (helps us to) see God as our head or leader.”
The root of the word of “asar” is “Asher,” one of Jacob’s sons, whose name means “Happy and healthy.”
First Fruits.
So, it’s clear that God is not against riches and He gives us power to get them. He is, however, opposed to GREED AND SELFISHNESS. Keeping our priorities straight is the key. See God as your head and be mindful of the verses below:
Romans 11:16 “For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches…” meaning tithing “cleans up” or “sanctifies” the other 9/10ths of the money in our hands which was tainted by the curse that is on this earth.
Why We Tithe Under The New Covenant.
Malachi 3 says that we are cursed with a curse.  Notice it doesn’t say “God puts a curse on people,” does It?  No.  You see, we don’t know where our money has been or for what evil purpose or purposes it may have been used before it came into our hands.  It is tainted with the curse that is on this fallen earth.
You and I, Church, are NOT under the curse.  God has made provision for us to separate us and our money from it through the tithe.
As you read before, “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he {Jesus} lives.”
Tithing is SO not about condemning people or laying a guilt trip on them about how they handle their money.  If you truly don’t have a revelation to “see God as your head,” you probably shouldn’t tithe.  Give whatever is in your heart.  Remember, law demands; grace supplies.
Demand Or Supply.
You won’t “fear” to tithe when you are more aware of supply than of demand.  Tithing out of guilt or because of a command, as under the law, is not honoring to God.  But when it is out of love for the One Who gave up everything He had to became nothing so that He could give us everything, blessing flows.
Every one of us could do with a bigger and better picture of what Jesus endured for us:  How He redeemed us from ALL our sins of our ENTIRE LIF.  We need a clear understanding of how he made us righteous and perfect before our Father, God, and in Whose presence we can now stand with conscience devoid of sin and guilt.  It is then that we cannot help but give to God.  We love…..and give…..because HE FIRST LOVED US.
You don’t need to be threatened or afraid of anything, including wealth.  But you do want to have your priorities straight.
“See God as your Head.”  He’s the One Who gives You and I power to get  Wealth.
For even more on this topic, please follow the link below:

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