Friday 14 December 2018

Bible Book:

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house. (v 10)

Malachi 3:8-12 Friday 14 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 86


In yesterday’s reading we saw that Malachi was deeply concerned at the state of worship in the Temple, and the manner in which people were treating their neighbours and the vulnerable. He saw that the root problem was that his people did not properly fear or respect God.

This attitude that failed to take God seriously lies behind today’s reading also. Earlier in his prophecy Malachi had complained that the offerings being brought to the Temple were shoddy. Where the best of the flock should be offered to God, the people were bringing their less valuable livestock (1:13). Malachi now returns to the theme as he sees God challenging his people once more.

As a sign that they recognised that everything they had comes from a generous God, the people of Israel were expected to bring the first tenth of all they earned, or all their land produced, as an offering. Within the Law (Leviticus 27:30-32, Numbers 18:20-32, Deuteronomy 12:5-11 and 14:22-29), regulations about the tithe were set out, but the practice predates Moses and was encouraged by earlier leaders such as Nehemiah and Amos.

God’s complaint is that his people are not paying the full tithe, and thus failing both in their respect and trust. Surprisingly, since testing God was normally contrary to true worship, God invites his people to test him out. If people dare to trust and obey they will, in turn, find blessing. The motivation for tithing is not to see it as a device to enrich oneself, rather it is a sign of delighting in God. Such genuine worship will have its reward.


To Ponder:

  • If Malachi was speaking to us today about cheating and failing to respect God, what examples of our current lives and practices might he use?
  • Reflect quietly on the attitude of mind that should lie behind your giving to God. How much is such giving a priority for you?
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