When the unlovable becomes the lovely, it is a god in our lives. When what is a tool for the sustaining of life, the procurement for what is best for oneself and others becomes the stumbling block to faith, then the god has become a demon. The tithe is God's answer to the idolatry and love of money that so easily overtakes men.
At some stage in life almost everyone comes to a realization that we are only renters on this Earth. It is in this reality that God speaks to the heart of man, where he lives in relation to his opinion of himself and the abilities that man believes he possesses in the providing for; the sustaining of himself and his family.
In Isaiah 1:3 God addresses the attitude of ingratitude and the lack of acknowledement of His sovereign ability to ensure that His people are provided for, when He says in Isaiah 1:3 "The ox knows its owner and the donkey (ass) its master's crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider." There was a lack of evidence of understanding by the people of Israel of their abject poverty without the provision of God. They were totally insensible of the hand of God, and God takes note that the stupidest and brutish of animals had more understanding of obedience, servitude, and Lordship than a people who owed their very existence to One who had called them by His Name and had provided all that was necessary for their survival.
"Even the stork in the heavens knows her season;
And the turtle, and the swallow, and the crane, observe the time of their coming:
But my people do not know the judgment of Jehovah.
Hosea has given a very elegant turn to the same image, in the way of metaphor or allegory:—
"I drew them with human cords, with the bands of love:
And I was to them as he that lifts up the yoke upon their cheek;
And I laid down their fodder before them."
Faith is that recognition of abject poverty and is merely acknowledging the right of One who has secured redemption at an expense that only He could afford. In this, all that we have is owned by God and the tithe as well as all aspects of Jesus' teaching is to give back, whether in scarcity or in abundance, it is not about what we lose, it is about what we give up.
The tithe in light of the object of attaining to kenosis (emptying oneself), is merely the least of what we can do, a minimum expectation of acknowledging our relationship with the only living God. After all your money follows your heart.
Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Luke 16:11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?"