|Posted on September 20, 2007 at 7:45 PM|
This is sure to get a stir out of folks. Most folks know enough of the Bible to indirectly quote I Timothy 6:10 concerning the love of money being a root to all evil, but then the rubber hits the road. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. He is the God that left Heaven for Earth. He is the God that wants to engage the world in a meaningful, personal relationship. He is the same God that told His people to test him? What did you say? How can we test God?
Malachi 3:8-10 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.?
God speaking to Malachi redundantly asks, ?Will a man rob God?? God asked Adam after the fall where he was. Remember Adam hid from God. God asked Adam where he was so Adam would have to confess. God does the same thing here when teaching about money. ?Yet you rob me.? We are taught as God-fearing Christians to worship, honor, respect, love, and fear the Living God. Does it not break your heart to hear God say, ?Yet you rob me?? Oh God how do we rob you? God answers, "In tithes and offerings.?
Some folks fear the offertory plate. You worry if you have your check folded in an origami masterpiece so no one can what you are giving. Listen, I know. I?m guilty of this. I would not say it to you if it didn?t go through me first. Here?s the truth: If you aren?t giving what you should, then you are regardless of being lost or saved, you are doing wrong in the eyes of God.
?How much are supposed to give? Where in the Bible does it say we have to so and so,? exclaims the guilty heart.
Leviticus 27:30 A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
Deuteronomy 14:22 Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
We could spend literally hours going over how Abraham, Jacob, and others of the Old Testament gave a tenth to God. We could talk about the genealogical aspect of Levites? tithing, but the fact of the matter is God expects and demands we, His children, obey His commands. Jesus said, ?If you love me, keep my commandments.
?But didn?t Jesus abolish the old laws??
Jesus said he did not come to abolish the old law but to fulfill it. Again, if you love Jesus, keep His commandments. Let?s go back to Malachi and finish that verse:
You are under a curse?the whole nation of you?because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
You are under a curse, the whole nation, because you are robbing me. No doubt our great nation is a blessed nation. We have more stuff than most. We have freedoms some places cannot even begin to imagine. We are stupid and arrogant if we think the Lord will continue His blessings if we continue on the path to hell we are on where we do not give to Him what He demands, when we deny His sovereignty, and we become complacent in our relationship with him. Now listen to this next part real good: ?Test me in this,? says the Lord Almighty. Nowhere else in scripture I believe will we find those words used in that context again. In other words if you will, God says, ?See if I?m telling you how it is. Give it a try.?
Let us finish that verse now: We give the whole tithe, God said test Him and then He says, ?and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.?
What happens after we tithe? We are blessed. I know people who have had unstable financial situations myself included that have gladly given just to be blessed later. God said it was so. No one has to be the truth for the truth to be true. Proverbs teaches a lot on the issue of money and giving. The following reiterates the blessing of giving to the Lord.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
God?s Word teaches that those who gladly give to the Lord receive abundant blessings. But what happens if you are unable to give? Jesus watched an old lady with very little money give more than she could afford. He commented to the religious leaders of the time that the lady had given more with so little than they had with all their riches.
How can that be? She gave with a glad heart to honor the Almighty.
we all want money and stuff? Sure we do. It?s the American way of life. Jesus
said, (this is a bad paraphrase by the way) that we should look to the things
of Heaven and not of the stuff of earth.
How much should we want then if we as Americans deny our lust for materialistic stuff?
Proverbs 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
It is a good idea that we should desire only from God our daily bread. The bread is literal and symbolic of all our needs not necessarily our wants. We want so much, but God supplies our needs. We should neither want more or less than what we need. The rest will fall into place.
I hate to say it since I too have looked for Easy Street, but God?s Word is clear how a person is to attain wealth.
Proverbs 21:5 Acquiring wealth takes diligent planning; anything less may end up in ruin.
Plan and put back for not just rainy days, but also when trouble floods. We must plan wisely how to spend our money not just for ourselves, but for our kids. If you don?t have kids, plan extra for when you might have ?em or your retirement. Rest in the blessed hope of Christ?s grace, but at the time time, be diligent toward future problems that can arise. Satan has no power over the believer, but he can throw snares. Trust always in the Lord and as He said, test him by your giving and see how you are blessed.