Try Me, Saith The LORD

28 Mar

A lot of Christians have never put God to the test when He said in Malachi to try Him. Malachi 3:8-12 says:  “8Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

 10Bring 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.

 11And 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, saith the LORD of hosts.

 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.”

I recently started tithing again after spending years not being faithful in giving to God’s kingdom. In the past two weeks I have received three checks in the mail from unexpected sources. They are not substantial, but they are blessings from God and we reap what we sow. If you sow only a little you will reap only a little. God gives according to the measure of faith we express. 

Some pastors believe that tithing is obsolete. That it was part of the old Covenant and we are no longer under the law.  But Abraham tithed faithfully to Melchizedek 400 years before Moses and the Law.Today we should give by faith. We are not under any law where we are required to give 10%, but if we love God we desire to please Him and to sow faithfully and sacrificially to build up the kingdom of God. Giving out of your surplus or whatever you have left over after you pay all your bills is not sacrificial giving.

In the apostle Paul’s day Christians were giving more than they were able. If what you have in your hand isn’t enough to meet your needs, it should become your seed.  I love the way pastor Bill Kiefer put it. He said:  “you can give your way out of debt and save, or hoard your way into poverty.” This is so true and yet so difficult to live by. My wife has a hard time living this principle. She worries that if we give our last $100 we’ll suffer lack. Yet that $100 really does nothing for us if we have outstanding debts and bills we can’t pay in full. Our finances as well as every other good thing we have are gifts from God. They are not meant for hoarding but for glorifying God, helping orphans and widows and advancing His work on this earth. The first century church shared everything so that no member went without.

I love the story in the bible about Elijah and the widow. It took place during a great famine and this woman  was a single mother of one son, Elijah did not have any food or water and yet this woman fed him despite the risk of her and her son starving to death. This is what she tells Elijah: “I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah then said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’” (Kings 17:8-16)

This widow, through her great faith and obedience to God, ended up with enough food for many days to outlast the famine. She gave all that she had.

King David had this to say: ” I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread (Ps. 37:25). The LORD knows the days of the upright; and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. (PS. 37:18,19, Proverbs 10:3)

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