Thursday – November 16, 2017 – A Reasonable Sacrifice.
Malachi 3:8-12 (NIV) “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 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 there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Ancient Israel was based on agriculture. Their whole existence relied on God bringing the early and the latter rain. Without the rainfall in due season, famine would result. The crops that had been planted would fail. Rather than their existence relying on bloody sacrifice, it relied on mere obedience. It simply relied on their bringing the tithe into the storehouse. This requirement was reasonable because God is the One Who gave them the ability to get wealth anyway. Without God bringing the rain their mere existence would be called into question.
The tithing system that was in ancient Israel brought the result of a bumper crop. There would be so much in their storehouses that they could not contain it all; some would have to be given away. The abundant crop was the result of the tithe, but it was not the reason for the tithe. The reason the tithe existed was to honor God and to show their appreciation to Him.
The tithe system would prove to be so effective that it became a part of the law. You do not bring the tithe into the storehouse because it is in the law; you bring the tithe into the storehouse because you want to honor God and because it actually works.
God was so concerned about the Israelites not tithing that He offered it as evidence that they were drifting away from Him. He tells the people that they are robbing Him. He encourages them to respond in faith by paying their tithes and says that He will open the floodgates of heaven and pour out His blessings to the point that they will not have room enough for the bounty. Bringing the tithe is a testimony to God that we belong to him entirely — body, soul and spirit. Tithing was commenced by Abraham before the law, continued by Jacob, confirmed by Moses in the law, commanded by Malachi and commended by Jesus. Anything that Jesus commends, we should be thrilled to do.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for giving us such a simple system that even a child can understand it. Thank you that I can show my love to you by bringing the tithe to the storehouse so that there won’t be any lack in the church.