Happy Monday! I pray you all had a great day in God's house on Sunday. At Ottawa First, we had a great service! The preacher is phenomenal (LOL)! Just a little joke there. Anyway, this week I will be writing on Malachi Ch. 3 as we continue our "Fresh Faith" series.
Today, I want to look at
Malachi 3: 8-9
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows.
There is much that we could unpack here, but I want to focus on the middle and last part of vs. 10 for this particular blog entry, specifically:
"test 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 a blessing until it overflows."
Throughout all of scripture, testing God is viewed at as a lack of faith. At one point in the N.T. Jesus quotes from Deut. 6:16, warning us not to "test" God. We are called to have that mustard seed of faith, regardless of the situation, then we see this passage in Malachi. What are we to make of such a statement, and what does God mean when he says that we should "test Him in this?"
God was trying to get the people of Israel to understand the principles behind generosity and stewardship. The entirety of Malachi Ch. 3 is all about God's people failing to honor the Lord with what they've been given. All throughout the book of Malachi, God is displeased with His people because they refused to obey the commands set forth in the law of Moses; but more than that, God was angry with the condition of their hearts. They were cold and unresponsive to God in many areas of their lives, including their finances. God was trying to get them to understand that He rewards those who are good stewards and those who are generous with their time, talent and treasure. "Testing God" in this instance does not mean that we give a one time offering, then demand that heaven open up the windows and bless us...that is not what God is talking about here. Stewardship and generosity are a way of life, not a one time offering or a fleeting moment of generosity; nor is it when we feel compelled to give by a a manipulative preacher or pastor.
God wants us to test Him and see if being a good steward and being generous does not bring the blessings of heaven with it. Money and finances are but one area in which we are called to be generous and good stewards.
We will continue to look at Malachi Ch. 3 as the week progresses (God wiling!).