Greetings to God the Father, the blessed, wonderful angels (hi angels) and to all the saints in Christ. I “had a laugh” recently when my mind ran across an interesting similarity between paying tithes and the protection money that people pay to the mob (not that I know much about the latter!). God has a really funny way of hiding his humor in some strange ways, similar to the way in which a practical joker would threaten someone to make them carry out some demand then have a big laugh about it in private.

Consider first the incident in which Jesus appeared to Abraham as Melchidezek, king of Salem and made Abraham lift his hand and swear that he would not take even a cent from the King of Sodom in case the king would later boast that he had made Abraham rich. Now the language of the king James version is rather pedantic, but if you were sitting with Abraham and the Lord in heaven, they would be laughing about how the Lord appeared out of the blue to help Abraham fight and how that scared the life out of the five kings who had taken Lot and family into captivity.

When read in another light, Genesis 14: 18 – 20 takes on new meaning. Notice that both the king of Salem and Melchizedek met Abraham at the end of the battle. They may have met him at separate times. Jesus blessed God (himself included) for having delivered Abraham from his enemies. Obviously Abraham owed Jesus something in return for his protection, so he paid up his tithes – protection money.

Unlike Abraham, who appeared to have carried no food to the battle, Jesus had food in abundance. So funny! He certainly did not intend to starve! Jesus departed and here comes the king of Sodom demanding that Abraham return the persons in exchange for goods (as if he had recaptured them!). Abraham, who honored the Lord, said:

“well, basically, Lot is a free agent, he could return with you if he wants! But uh, uh! I swore to the Lord that I will not take anything from you, not even a thread/string or a shoe lace in case you boast that you made me rich!”.

Now read Malachi 3: 8-11! Here God is talking to a group of greedy children who would not share their possessions (by paying tithes to His representatives on earth). He’s yelling at them:

“so you are robbing me?!! You think I don’t know what you are doing?”

They look puzzled and confused, spread their arms wide and ask “how come you say we are robbing you?!” Basically he sternly replies that if they pay up, He will keep angelic guard that will protect them from thieves and robbers (satan and marauding demons).

Play it out in your mind. No tithes, no protection – as simple as that!

Don’t confuse, however, the withdrawing of divine protection with the situation in which God permitted satan to test Job. The contexts are different. So folks, come hell or high water, pay up that protection money, or else!