GOD’s PROMISE of ABUNDANT BLESSING
October 7 Bible Reading: Malachi Chapters 1-4
“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." (Mal 3:10)
Under the Mosaic Law, the Israelites were required to give tithes - a tenth of all their produce and livestock - to God (or, they could redeem it with money and add a fifth part). These tithes were in addition to their numerous offerings, and were an acknowledgment from their part that everything belonged to God and that He was the Giver of all their possessions. However, in prophet Malachi’s day, the postexilic Israelites were withholding their tithes and offerings from God (vv. 8–9).
Apparently they preferred to keep more for themselves rather than give what God asked. In doing so, they were not only robbing from God, they were in effect robbing from the Levites and the poor!
In the Old Testament, the reward for Israelites for tithing faithfully was in God blessing them with material wealth. If they would be faithful with their tithes, God would bless them with such abundant blessings that there will not be room enough to receive it (v. 10). God would also deliver the Israelites from drought, plague, enemies, and locusts, and make them a blessing in the earth that He had promised their patriarch Abraham (Gen. 12:3).
The New Testament however teaches believers to give systematically, liberally, cheerfully, and proportionately as the Lord has prospered them. But no mention is made of tithing in the New Testament. Rather, the suggestion is that if a Jew living under law gave a tenth, how much more should a Christian living under grace give!
Thus our pattern for giving is characterized by freedom (2 Cor. 9:6) and responsible planning (1 Cor. 16:2). Jesus demands more in terms of stewardship than merely the precise compliance with the tithe (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).
The New Testament teaches us to give substantially to the Lord. When we do that, our God delights to respond with gracious provision, especially to meet our essential needs (Matt. 6:25-34).
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Cor 9:7)