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The U.S. first billionaire said once in an interview:
Yes, I tithe, and I would like to tell you how it all came about. I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work, I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.
I did, and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I want to say,if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of the Lord.
— John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
He began tithing even as a child, and became one of the richest men in the history of mankind through the business of petroleum. He came from a poor family and an absent father. But his mother taught him to put down a root of faithfulness, which still today brings prosperity to the Rockefeller family (his fortune when he died in 1937 was US$ 760 billion, adjusted to today’s rates. This is more than 12 times the wealth of Bill Gates).
Being faithful upon little is a test of character. Before giving much to someone, you test that person’s character by observing how he or she behaves when in charge of little.
Just as God gave oil to Rockefeller, He wants to give sources of wealth to His children. There are many treasures yet to be discovered, millionaire ideas, opportunities… Of course, God is hoping to find faithful and diligent servants whom He can give them to, before they fall into other hands…
The facts are this:
- He was a devoted father.
- A devoted husband.
- His “monopoly” brought order to an industry full of discord.
- He loved the Lord and his philanthropy was birthed out of that love
“God gave me my money.”
Why did God single John D. Rockefeller out for stupendous wealth? He believed it was because he was a good steward. In his seventies he said:
“It has seemed as if I was favored and got increase because the Lord knew I was going to turn it around and give it back.”
In Jewish culture though it’s a little different.
In Jewish culture giving (or tithing) is considered an ancient formula for becoming wealthy. In the Talmud it says:
“Aser bedevil shetisasher” or “Tithe so that you will become rich” (Taanit 9a)
In other words, tithing is a partnership between the giver and God. The giver partners with God in helping the world, God partners with the giver in business affairs.
In fact, when the Bible speaks about the tithe it uses the Hebrew word “maaser”(pronounced mah-as-ayr‘). It’s used 32 times in the Old Testament.
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English is read left to right, Hebrew is read right to left.
The Hebrew language is a language of root words. Prefixes and suffixes are added to build on the meaning of the root word.
So in this word the first letter mem (מ) conveys this meaning:
Changing a verb into the noun of that word
For example: adding mem “to preach” (verb) turns it into “preacher” (noun).
Now taking away mem (מ) from “maaser” we’re left with “aser” which means rich.
So another way of interpreting
“The rich is in the tithe.”
Or with “maaser”:
“The one tithing becomes rich.”
He Freed Himself: He Made Money His Slave
He knew from early on that money was important. But he also knew he wanted to be the master of money– not its servant.
By the time he was 12 he had saved $50, about $1400 in today’s money. He then loaned a farmer the $50 at 7% interest. At the end of the year he collected $3.50 with absolutely no work. He later said,
When Jesus spoke about good stewardship it wasn’t just about handling money…it was about multiplying money:
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” (Matthew 25:14-18 KJV)
The another translation says verse 16 like this:
The servant who had received five talents went and put them to work, and gained five more.” (Matthew 25:16 Berean study Bible)
Rockefeller was a hard worker. When he worked as a bookkeeper he would sometimes put in 12 hour days. But even while he was an ordinary laborer he would trade his own money in different futures and commodities.
In other words, he was always looking for ways to put his money to work.
Jesus also said,
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, ‘Occupy till I come.’” (Luke 19:13 KJV)
That Greek word “occupy” is the Greek word “diapragmateuomai” (pronounced dee-ap-rag-mat-yoo’-om-ahee). It has different meanings:
- “Gain by business trading.”
- “Busily engaged in making trades.”
- “Increase by trading.”
It implies active, detailed trading that “buys right” and then knows just when to exchange.
So in other words:
- “Gain by business trading” till I come.
- “Be busily engaged in making trades” till I come.
- “Increase by trading till I come.
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