FAITHLESS OR FAITHFUL?
Thank You, Loving Savior, for never letting go of me.
Read Malachi 3:6–18
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The Faithful Remnant
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectRemember that God always has those who are faithful to Him.
After the small glimmer of light we are back with God’s charges against rebellious Israel. Inferior sacrifices and empty worship, easy, self-indulgent divorce, the worship of foreign gods, and now a failure to give God his due. Why (14)? They get nothing out of being obedient and serving God, so why bother? But God says otherwise (10–13).
While the majority refuse to listen, those who stay faithful will be, as God always intended, his treasured possession (17, Exodus 19:5). We are in a different place. Christians differ on how we should give and how much – although for many the idea of a tenth forms a useful starting point (10). But we have one thing in common with Judah – all that we have comes from God and we hold it on trust. Generosity towards God is never wasted. The idea that if we give to God it will automatically result in financial prosperity has no basis in Scripture, but giving is a means of grace and will bring God’s blessing into our lives. Our love and our worship, in the broadest sense, are seen by God (14, 15). We shall not lose out.
Perhaps it’s time to review your giving to God – in terms of money, time and service? Do you need to make some changes? Make them – today, this week – don’t put it off.
God, I know that all I have is Yours, but sometimes I don’t live like it. Help my life to line up with my beliefs.
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