December 12, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
There is an interesting scripture in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:8 through 12:
“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 prove 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; “and all nations will call you blessed,
for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.
Usually, this passage is applied to giving, especially tithing – giving one tenth of all your income to the Lord’s work. After all, it says in verse 10, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse….” And, yes, this certainly applies to giving, to tithing of our income! And my wife and I – with many others who have practiced tithing – can attest that, indeed, God has supplied our needs as we have faithfully given to Him!
But I want to take a bit of a different tack with this passage of scripture. It will still relate to giving, but in a different way.
Consider what Jesus said in a parable in Luke 12:42 through 48. Herbert Lockyer, in his book, All The Parables Of The Bible calls this (and the preceding parable in Luke 12:35 through 40), “The Parable of the Watchful Servants.” In the parable we are considering, the master of a “…faithful and wise…” servant (verse 42) apparently left on a long journey and appointed this servant to rule “…over his household, to give…[the other servants] their portion of food in due season…” (verse 42). Jesus said if he did what he was supposed to do, that servant will be blessed, and the master “…will make him ruler over all that he has.” (verse 44). But, if he “…begins to beat the…servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk…” (verse 45), “The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him…and will cut him in two and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” ( verse 46). Jesus closed the parable with this observation in verses 47 and 48:
And that servant, who knew his master’s will, and did not…do according to
his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet
committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone
to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much
has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
We have been given much, especially in this country! We are blessed with material wealth, a marvelous health system (especially compared to many other parts of the world), many freedoms – including the freedom of religion. We have open churches, and an open Bible – so much so, that there are relatively few people who have not heard the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in one way or another! As Jesus said in verse 48 above, “…everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” The ‘they’ who “…ask the more…” will ultimately be the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! For “…every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12 – KJV).
Apart from money – your income, investments, and other resources – think of all that God has given you! Are you investing all that to bring glory to Him?
• Are you giving back to God time? …time in prayer, time in reading and studying His Word, time in worship and fellowship with other believers, time in service to Him by serving others?
• Are you giving back a tithe or more of the investment He has made in you? After all, He gave you life in the first place, plus all the blessings that touch your life. And the biggest blessing is that He redeemed you from hell to heaven, from ruin to something beautiful and of great worth, from being God’s enemy to being His friend, even His child!
Now, back to our Malachi scripture. God is speaking, and the first thing with which He challenges His people is, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!” I challenge you to look over your ‘investment sheet’ and see if you are robbing God! And if you find out you are, then I challenge you to start giving the Lord His due – your life put into His hands, and you following His leading! If we don’t do this, we will “…rob God…,” and we will answer for it before Him!