And Still More On Tithing

Q. Isn’t it true that we have been commanded by God to give of our tithe and offering? Malachi 3: 6-8 speaks of a curse placed on those who have robbed God. Can you clarify this message?

A. I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating.

In the time after the return from Babylon the Jews faced great difficulty in getting their nation reestablished. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah had revealed the great things God had in store for them, but these promises weren’t coming true fast enough for the Jews. They concluded it was futile to continue serving the Lord because they weren’t gaining anything by doing so.

Things got worse and worse until God sent them the prophet Malachi to explain the problem. He said their difficulties had come because they weren’t keeping the Law and specifically weren’t paying their tithes. God likened it to robbing from Him and said it had put them under a curse. He promised everything would change as soon as they returned to Him and challenged them to start paying their tithes and see if it didn’t result in Him pouring our so much blessing they wouldn’t have room for it all (Malachi 3:7-12).

This same idea is repeated in the New Testament. In Luke 6:38 the Lord said,

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

And in 2 Cor. 9:6-11 Paul confirmed the cause and effect relationship that exists in our giving. He said whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly but whoever sows generously will also reap generously. He also said the Lord loves cheerful givers so much that he’ll make them rich in every way so they can be generous on every occasion.

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