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« Two Miles to Bethany | Main | One God, My God »

God and (Guess What?) 

“Will a man rob God?” Malachi 3:8 

Money.  That’s what.  Seriously, will a man rob God? It reminds me of three intellectually-challenged thieves who allegedly tried to sell purloined paintings back to the gallery from which they were stolen.  They were arrested, according to the county sheriff’s office, although one suspect who tried to run away had a bite on his leg, courtesy of a police dog. The thieves were detained after they showed up at the gallery with three abstract oil paintings they stole, along with the gallery’s van! Dumb! But still, Malachi’s question poses the top award in the dumb thief category.  

God issued a simple challenge to Israel. “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.’” Malachi 3:10. It was a straight-forward command:  Pay your tithes! 

  • Tithing was introduced by Abraham and Jacob before Moses and the law (Genesis 14:20; 28:22).
  • Tithing is an act of worship, reverence, gratitude and recognition of blessing.
  • In the New Testament, Paul, a Jew, continued the tradition of his fathers. 1 Corinthians 16:2.

Yet, the challenge involved some pain; to get, you have to give.  This may be the most important spiritual principle you will ever learn!  Let go and let God! Do not judge what is happening in your life before God is finished with His work! 

Jesus Christ is the “author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2). Good authors don’t tell the whole story in the first chapter. They don’t give it all away. They hold things back, revealing clues as the reader goes along. Good authors involve you in the characters, let you feel what they feel, let you put yourself in their position and learn with them. Good authors write the story so that you enjoy the journey of reading it. Then they wow you by tying up all the loose ends in a spectacular way.” To understand redemption, you have to be lost.  To understand getting, you have to give.  No one who ever received something great from God got it without a corresponding cost, usually something big. 

God gave an unprecedented challenge.  While He usually demands obedient faith, here He invites doubters to put Him to the test! “Try me!” (Prove, examine, test).  Essentially, a proving ground is a giant sandbox. The secured environment allows people to experiment with things which they could not use in other locations due to safety concerns, and people can also experiment with radical equipment or ideas in a supportive environment.” Mary McMahon, Wise Geek. In the case of David, he had not proved Saul’s armor, but he had proved God against the bear and the lion with his sling.  That’s what got him the victory over Goliath.  You need to think of everything that has happened in your life up to this point as a gigantic proving ground for God to show his power and might.  God guaranteed that He would pour out a blessing so big that there would not be room enough to receive it.  The blessing would overflow the ability to receive.  (Hint: Do not measure God’s gifts according what you think He owes you, but according to what you deserve!) 

The irony here is that while God challenges you to prove Him, He is actually proving you!  He tests your attitude towards money; He measures your faith by your obedience; and He rewards you according to your faith.  Tithes and offerings are your spiritual thermometers!

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