As I meditated on this passage, one thing grabbed my attention. After Jacob declares that he has experienced God’s presence in this place, and makes an altar and a vow to God, he says and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you (v. 22). This tenth, or tithe, becomes the standard for giving in two religions. But here, it’s simply a promise between one man and God. By returning a portion of all that he receives from God, Jacob is committing his life to God.
A tenth is such a small portion compared to what we receive from the Lord. Throughout Scripture, the God of heaven and earth demonstrates how much can be accomplished with extraordinarily little. Jesus says that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, which is extremely small if you’ve never seen one, we could uproot a whole tree and plant it in the sea. A little courage allowed Gideon to lead a minuscule army in a mighty way. The Lord anointed the smallest of Jesse’s sons to be king. God accepts the little we have to offer and turns it into great things.
Do not be held back or ashamed to approach God with just a little. You do not have to be the fastest, tallest, smartest, or most charismatic person to be used by God. God will take what you have and multiply it. God will gladly take your tithe, whatever it may be, and use it to feed Christ’s Reign in a mighty way.
“Whoever is faithful in very little is faithful also in much,” Luke writes (16:10). Zechariah proclaims, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin” (4:10, NLT). Use the little you have to give, and watch God do the rest.
Why is committing our resources to God a reflection of our commitment to God?
Lord, I commit to you the little I have. I trust that my little will accomplish great things for you. Amen.