After Jacob tricked is father Isaac and angered his brother Esau, his parents sent him to his uncle Laben to find a wife. When he stopped for the night on his journey he had a dream. In this dream God repeats His promise to Isaac and Abraham and promises it to Jacob. Had Jacob really done anything to deserve this promise? Not that we really know about, but Abraham and Isaac had been faithful and God revealed to Rebekah before Jacob’s birth that he would be the stronger twin, (Genesis 25:23) indicating that he would be the line of promise. God knew before Jacob’s birth that he would be the son that would head His chosen people. Why did God choose Jacob instead of Esau? We will probably never know for sure but we do know God knows what He is doing.
God has a plan for your life too. Do you deserve His good plan for you, have you earned it? No, none of us deserve the eternity in heaven we are promised but God’s plan for us is based on His grace and mercy. He chooses us for jobs we may not feel up to but His plan always works.
What was Jacob’s response to God’s promise? Well, he made a vow (or promise) that if God did what He said and took care of Jacob, then he would follow God and when he returned to his homeland he would give one-tenth of everything he had back to God. This action is one of the places we get our example of tithing. Jacob (and Abraham) gave one-tenth of everything they had back to God to show their gratefulness and loyalty to God, as well as a reminder that God had been faithful to provide for them.
Following their example, we should outwardly show our gratitude to God for His provision and to help remind us that God has been faithful to provide for us. When we tithe and share our blessings we are showing God that we trust Him, we appreciate Him and that we want to do His will. Are you faithfully following in Jacob’s footsteps?
Explain tithing to your child. If they are young and haven’t been exposed to fractions yet you may want to do this activity (might be fun regardless!):
Get a bowl of M&Ms, cereal, or other small foods. Have your child count out piles of 10. Then take one out of each pile and give the rest to the child. Explain that the 10% we give back to God and He lets us keep the others to take care of us!