Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 3:9
"Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce"
The word honor is the Hebrew word kabed which means to be heavy or weighty. It carries the idea of a person who is weighty and impressive; worthy of respect. When a person gives kabed to another, they are said to make them more weighty or impressive. Therefore, a working definition is to ADD VALUE. When we honor a person or God, we add value to them so that others perceive them more impressively.
In this verse, Solomon is saying that no matter how much wealth or possessions a person has, he/she must demonstrate out of that wealth that God is weightier still.
This is done through tithes and offerings – giving of ten percent of your income and giving charitable gifts from the abundance of the blessings that God has given you. It is important to state that there is no percentage figure in this verse. One must give and handle wealth in a way that would clearly demonstrate that you are impressed with God and He is the most important being in your life. In many cases, that would suggest that more than ten percent would be given.
Remember that this prescription is in the midst of the basic keys to life – how to get along with people and find favor with God and man. This command is at the core of what God says about playing the game of life to win. Dealing with money properly is a big deal. Money can become a god so quickly. One must make money serve a higher purpose: honoring God. If God blesses and gives you an abundance, then make sure that God is honored for blessing you.
There is a tendency in every age to suggest that things are tight and God doesn't really want me to give ten-plus percent of my income to Him. I need all of this. This would suggest that money has a hold on your heart. God has given you the ability to earn it. Bless Him with how you handle it. I have never seen God not be faithful to those who give tithes and offerings to honor Him.
and from the first of all your produce
Don't wait until you have made or committed all the money. Give it to God right at the front end. Money continually tries to get you to love it. Money is just a means of trading goods, but it has a life of its own because it is so powerful. It wants you to believe that it can meet your needs. Money can't; God can. God blesses and provides goods and services to us. He asks that we remember that He gave it by giving tithes and offerings as a way to honor Him and as a safeguard over money getting too great a grip on our heart.
There is a warning in this last part of the verse to not delay giving to God. If we delay giving or make God the last on the list of people we pay, then we will not get around to it. In that day, right after the harvest was the time to tithe to the Lord and not at the end of the year. In our day, right after we get our paycheck is the time to tithe, not till after all the bills have been paid.
Money is the means that blessings are distributed but one must not look to the means as the bless-er but the one who ultimately allows the blessing.
I have heard people tell me over and over: “I do not have money to give to the Lord.” Something is wrong with your spending if you do not have the money to tithe to the Lord. I have watched as many people who were headed to bankruptcy were brought out to solvency through putting God first in their budget through tithing. Then they can straighten out the rest of their budget.