Malachi 3:8-11 (NKJV) “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts…
“Will a man rob God?” Oh boy…I know what you are thinking. It is amazing that to utter the words, “Open your Bible to Malachi 3” can change the atmosphere in church quickly. These verses begin an overflow of excuses flooding the heart and mind. Let me put you at ease before beginning. God does not want or need your money. He owns everything. It is all created by Him and belongs to Him. Money according to earthly economy represents things like security, success and power. But in God’s Eyes it is only a tool set forth before us for our use and influence. So what does the Lord mean when He says, “Yet you have robbed me?” How is it possible to rob Him when He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient? There is no sneaking up on the Lord. God, the Father, created us and has never once left our side. He goes before us, hems us in from behind and surrounds us with His Presence.
The people ask the Lord, “In what way have we robbed You? Of course, the rest is well-known to most believers as He says, “In tithes and offerings…” With only about 2% of the modern church fully participating in the covenant of giving, it is understandable that most pastors and teachers avoid this subject completely. Every direct commandment of God comes with a mandated blessing and promise. Tithing is giving God 10% of our increase – whatever that may be. An offering is anything above and beyond the covenant agreement of the tithe or 10%. In other words, God requires 10% and honors anything more than that to us as well.
If the tithe is equated to funds, then the natural assumption is that withholding the tithe and offering from the Lord is considered robbery – however, this is not what God is talking about. By withholding our tithe and offering from the Lord, He is robbed of the privilege of blessing us. That’s right. It is robbing God to limit the potential of His Promise by disobedience. God ALWAYS rewards obedience. Disobedience withholds God’s Blessing from making its way to us.
You will reap what you sow. Sow hard work. There will be a reward. However, the reward is subject to the earth if not part of our covenant with the Lord. The Lord promises to those who are obedient in giving to “rebuke the devourer.” Whatever we give to the Lord releases His Protection over it. It opens the windows of Heaven to pour out a blessing that there is not enough room to receive. This is Kingdom. The Kingdom is not accessible in disobedience. A limited life is signs of limited obedience. The seedtime and harvest set forth in the days of Noah remains even today. The Malachi promise that God will rebuke the devourer is the protective covering of God over our increase. The widow woman had everything she needed in her home to sustain the household and pay all her debts to protect her children. Yet, it was only in her obedience to the Lord – seeking the borrowed pots – pouring out what she had – that her family prospered.
In Malachi 3:13-15, the complainers rise up at God’s Instruction. Full of comparisons. Lacking faith in God but rather pointing out His Insufficiency. Even saying at one point, “It is useless to serve God.” But if you read on to Malachi 3:16-18, you find those who are confident. Those who in the famine, drought and devastation of life decided that faith was more important than fruitfulness. Our faith in God must be consistent through every season of life. Confidence is essential in obedience. You will not trust who you do not believe. The confident gathered together and encouraged one another. God heard the conversation as they prepared a book of remembrance for the Lord. They began to detail the faithfulness of God to feed their soul in the season of seeming lack. The Lord says, “They shall be Mine.” He called them jewels. God treasures those who are obedient to Him because those are the people who live in covenant with Him. Not based on their experiences on earth, but fully confident that He is faithful!
Malachi 3:6 (NKJV) “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”
My husband and I committed to tithing when we got married. We wanted God to bless every aspect of our marriage and forged a union with the Lord in giving. Over the years, the Lord has blessed us beyond measure. There were still times that stretched our faith and strained our obedience. But we gave anyway based solely on the promise that He would open the windows of Heaven and rebuke the devourer. God has been 100% faithful. It is remembering the faithfulness of God that one can release the fear of lack and concern that He is forgetful. God has not forgotten His Promise to you, friend. He will do exactly as He promised even though sometimes that doesn’t meet our expectation. I assure you that if you remain obedient the day will come when the windows of Heaven are thrown wide over your life and you will be seated at the table prepared in the presence of your enemies dining on God’s Goodness and Faithfulness. You just have to believe beyond what you can see and give what is asked of you. Obedience is the key that turns the latches on the locked windows of Heaven and releases the bucket of blessing reserved just for you! God will not give us His Kingdom until first He has our heart. Have you robbed the Lord of the opportunity to bless you in abundance? Have you blocked the outpouring with hands holding your pockets? Sow seed. Start with something. God invites you to test Him in this. The measure of abundance in our life is not limited by God but our disobedience. If you want it all, you will have to give it all.
Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.