Tithes and Offerings
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10)
Today there is much talk of financial security. The biblical formula in today’s verse, given to Israel, but applied to all, begins with a scathing indictment. "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings" (v. 8). What a terrible thing, to rob God. The result of their thievery, in God’s eyes: "Ye are cursed with a curse" (v. 9), such that their financial state was much worse than it would have been had they been obedient. This teaching and promise has not been rescinded (Luke 6:38; 1 Corinthians 16:2; etc.).
God’s charge to us as given in today’s verse is in three steps. First, we are told to obey; i.e., "bring ye." This cannot be considered an option. Secondly, God proposes a test. "Prove me," He says, give and see if He lives up to His promises. Thirdly, trust His promise to meet our needs.
Note that His promise is also threefold. It abundantly covers present needs, for He promises to "pour you out a blessing" unmeasurable in quality or quantity. Likewise, it covers the threat of future loss. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field" (v. 11). Most precious is His promise to reward obedience and trust with a special relationship: "All nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land" (v. 12).
Thus we see that with less than 100 percent of our income at our disposal, we will have greater financial security than if we had kept it all to ourselves, thereby robbing God. JDM