Let’s Open the Windows of Heaven:
“Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try 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 such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:7-11).
What do you spend your money on? Jesus made an interesting and challenging statement about finances in His Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21). Where is your treasure? Do you spend your money on fleeting passions and pleasures of the Earth? Or are you using your money to lay up treasures in Heaven? Jesus is saying that you can always tell what’s important to a person by how they spend their money. Today’s Scripture from the book of Malachi is perhaps one of the most well-known passages in the Bible dealing with the subject of giving tithes and offerings. Allow me to share with you some nuggets of truth from this Scripture…
The background information to this Scripture finds the children of Israel backslidden and disobedient, and the Lord is calling them to return to Him, so that He can return to them. The people responded by saying, “In what way shall we return?” And the Lord said, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!” The people responded by saying, “In what way have we robbed you?” Obviously this was a serious charge that was being made against the people that they had stolen from God. And this is how the Lord answered their question: “In tithes and offerings.” In other words, when we refuse to pay our tithes and offerings, we are robbing God! Now, some of you might say, “What is a tithe?” When I first became a Christian, I didn’t know what a tithe was, and until someone taught me, I wasn’t able to be obedient to the Lord. A tithe is one tenth (10%) of your income that belongs to the Lord. Actually, everything that we have belongs to the Lord—100% of it—we are merely stewards that He has entrusted these finances with. And so the Lord has asked us to give 10% of our income to Him through the church.
Why should we give our tithes to the Lord? This Scripture gives us several good reasons:
- First of all, when we don’t tithe, we are robbing God from what rightfully belongs to Him. We are being disobedient.
- Secondly, when we refuse to tithe, we are putting ourselves under a curse. If you struggle financially, perhaps one of the reasons is because you don’t tithe. The prophet Haggai challenged the people of his day to consider their ways. “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:6).
- The third reason the prophet Malachi tells us that we should tithe is so that there would be food in God’s storehouse. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant.” The reason that God blesses His people is so that we can be a blessing to others.
- The fourth and final reason that we are commanded to tithe is so that God can bless us. The Lord has promised that if we will be faithful to honour Him with our finances, that He will open the windows of Heaven and pour out such a great blessing that there will not be room enough to contain it! The Lord will then rebuke the devourer for us, and we will no longer be under a curse.
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase, so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10). Let’s open the windows of Heaven!