Read Malachi 1
Casual attitude toward the Lord and worship. Their worship is sloppy and the priests neglect the commands of God. Unworthy sacrifices indicate no honor or respect (Mal. 1:7-10,12-14). The Messiah, worthy of pure offerings (3:2-3). Repent (3:6-9). Support the work of the Lord (3:10-12). Get ready! Judgment cometh (4:1-6)!
The first generation of Israelites that returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple had died, and the following generations had lost sight of the purpose God had for them as His people. Malachi declared that God may not always be fully understood, but He is questioned only by those who reject or neglect His Word, saying: If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart . . . saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you (Mal. 2:2).
Malachi left no room for excuses when he declared that the Israelites were thieves. He boldly asked: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. . . . In tithes and offerings (3:8). He then pronounced the inevitable judgment of God: Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation (3:9).
The people were cursed with a curse because the tithes belonged to God for the spiritual needs of the people and the support of the priesthood. They had ignored the command to honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase (Prov. 3:9; Ex. 22:29; II Chr. 31:5).
Returning one-tenth of all our increase (income) to God expresses our faith that all we are and all we have belong to the Lord, and, as caretakers, we return to Him a portion acknowledging that. Tithing demonstrates our love and gratitude to Him.
More than 500 years before the Law was given, tithing was demonstrated by Abraham, the father of all them that believe (Rom. 4:11), who brought a tenth of everything to the priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:18). When we refuse to return unto God the things that are God's (Matt. 22:21), we keep for ourselves what God has said is for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Is it greed, selfishness, indifference, or just a stubborn refusal to be obedient to what the Word of God clearly states? The seriousness of this sin can be seen in the severity of the famine that Israel was experiencing: Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me (Mal. 3:9).
The Christian is to give not grudgingly, or of necessity (under compulsion): for God loveth a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7).
Thought for Today:
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer (I Pet. 4:7).
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple (Mal. 3:1). Jesus went into the Temple. . . . saying . . . My House shall be called . . . the House of prayer (Mark 11:15-17).
1:6 fear reverence, willing obedience; 1:13 snuffed at sneered, lightly esteemed, despised, scorned; 2:12 The Lord will cut off . . . the master (who hath married the daughter of a strange god — see 2:11) and the scholar the priest and the layman will be rejected; 3:13 Your words have been stout against Me your attitude has been harsh, strong against Me.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) • Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Crioulo • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Rely upon the Lord at all times; He is your refuge (Ps. 62:8).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 2:12