According to Malachi 3:8-12 God’s people were guilty of robbing Him: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test 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 a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.
What exactly does it mean to “rob God”?
Two things according to these verses. First, we rob God when we fail to give our “tithes and offerings.”
What is a “tithe?” A tithe is the practice of giving 1/10 of your income in support of the local church in gratitude for all God’s blessings. Tithing was practiced in the Old and New Testaments.
Second, we rob God when we fail to bring the “whole tithe” to the church house.
According to Malachi 3:10 we get the impression that some of God’s people were doing this very thing. They were bringing something to God, but not the whole tithe. Thus, God commanded, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” God doesn’t want a tip. He wants a tithe.
How can you keep from robbing God?
First, recognize that it’s sin to withhold tithes and offerings from God because the tithe already belongs to Him anyway: “Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S; it is holy [set apart] to the LORD” (Leviticus 27:30).
A pastor was asked, “How many church members to you have?” He answered, “One hundred fifty.” The pastor was further asked, “How many of them are tithers?” The pastor replied, “One hundred fifty.” In astonishment the inquirer exclaimed, “What? All one hundred fifty, the entire church, are tithers?” “Yes, indeed,” said the pastor. “About fifty of them bring the tithe to the storehouse, and God collects it from the rest.”
“Give, and it will be given to you,” says Jesus, “They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).
(Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.)