Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!
But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8 (NASB)
For many years of my adult life, I lived paycheck to paycheck. Some months I wondered if I could pay all my bills. I prayed for God to give me a raise, often. Alternatively, I prayed to win the lottery. God remained silent to my prayers for more money. I believed in God as my savior, but I figured He was not interested in my finances. He had bigger issues to handle.
Early in my marriage, I came home from work in labor only to find my husband already there. “Why are you home early today?” I asked
“I got laid off from my job. Why are you home early?” He inquired of me, and I told him I was in labor.
How would we make ends meet with only one job and a new baby in the house? The next day our daughter was born. I went back to work when she was six weeks old, and it took my husband eight weeks to find a new job. We continued to struggle that entire year financially.
Tithing Sunday came around at church. What a good Sunday to skip church, my mind told me. Nevertheless, we went. When it came to the sermon, my brain wandered off. I could not pay my debts so how could I afford to give money to the church. The pastor referred to Malachi 3:10 and told us that God richly blesses those who give. For once, the discussion got my attention. I went home and read all of chapter three in Malachi.
Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows. “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:8-12 (NASB)
The verse, Malachi 3:8 brought me to my knees. Had I robbed God for all these years? I began to realize that I was wrong to think that God was not interested in my finances. He was, it was I that did not trust God with my money.
Part of verse 10, “test Me now in this,” seemed like a good idea. So, I did. I began by giving just a little each week to see what God would do. To my surprise, we never missed the money we tithed, and we were still able to pay the bills. After a few years, we gave a little more each week with the same results. Many years later, we were able to achieve a full tithe, and God has always been faithful to make sure we were able to meet all our obligations. Nowadays, my tithe is the first thing I enter in my checkbook after each paycheck, and I never miss the money.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:48b (NIV)
My husband and I also became very involved in international mission work. We witnessed extremely improvised people put their meager pennies in the offering plate as it passes them and I know God will bless them for it. As Americans, it is easy for us to think of ourselves as poor as we struggle with our finances. However, we are wealthy compared to so many people in other countries. Many survive on less than a dollar a day, and they still give to God. As Luke 12:48 reveals to us, God blessed this country with many things and He expects much in return from us. We need to stop robbing God. Don’t believe me, then test God’s generosity and start giving. Start small and watch how He provides for you. Remember to give with a happy heart.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NASB)
Heavenly Father, we come before your throne of Grace to ask for your forgiveness for those times we have robbed you. We want to trust you with every aspect of our lives including our finances. Please help us to tithe faithful to your works and help us to give cheerfully in all circumstances. Help us to act in obedience to Your commands. Amen