Stewardship through tithing did not begin with the Mosaic Law, but as a part of Abraham’s faithfulness to God. Abraham was well before the law. Abraham was the picture of justification by faith that points directly to our faith in Christ. Abraham was not justified by the law, but by trusting God. It is through Abraham’s faith that the first tithe was given. The principle of giving was not the tithe. Giving to God’s work was the tithe, but the principle of giving is stewardship – all things belong to God and entrusted to our care. Abraham testified to this in Genesis 14:22-23. After giving a tenth to the Priest of God, Abraham then declared that God was the Possessor of all things and Abraham took an oath that He would not take anything so that he would not become rich outside of God.
This principle from Genesis is revived in the New Testament after the law was fulfilled in Christ. God’s people were no longer following the letter of the Law of Moses, but the law of faith written in their hearts. The law of faith is written in our hearts when we are born into the new life through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:27). We are not constrained by the Law, but compelled by faith and the love of God. For a child of God, obedience comes from a desire of the heart, not a command of the law. In the New Testament church, we see the same focus that Abraham had – He is the Possessor and we are the stewards.
Look at Acts 2:
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
The Law demands 1/10th but faith acknowledges all things are His. It is true that Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law, but this opened the door for us to live in complete trust toward God. Between Abraham and the Cross, the people were blinded when the law was obeyed outside of faith.