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Bible Pathways - September 30, 2005

  • 2016 Sep 30
  • COMMENTS

September 30

 

Read Malachi 1

 

In Today's Reading:

The Lord's love for Jacob; the sins of the priests; Israel's unfaithfulness rebuked; the Day of the Lord and final judgment

The first generation of Israelites that returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple was dead, 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 that we must accept His Word. He said: If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart . . . I will even send a curse upon you (Malachi 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 seriousness of this sin can be seen in the severity of the famine that Israel was experiencing. 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 (Proverbs 3:9; Exodus 22:29; II Chronicles 31:5).

Returning one-tenth of all our increase (income) to God acknowledges that all we are and all we have belong to the Lord. Tithing demonstrates our love and gratitude to Him as our Savior and Lord. Offerings are gifts beyond the tithe and demonstrate our love for God and faith in His provisional care.

More than 500 years before the Law was given, tithing was demonstrated by Abraham, the father of all them that believe (Romans 4:11), who brought a tenth of everything to the priest of the Most High God (Genesis 14:18-20). When we refuse to return unto God the things that are God's (Matthew 22:21), we keep for ourselves what God has said is for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Is this refusal greed, selfishness, indifference, or just stubborn disobedience to what the Word of God clearly states? The Christian is to give not grudgingly, or of necessity (under compulsion): for God loveth a cheerful giver (II Corinthians 9:7).

Christ Revealed:

As the Messenger of the Covenant (Malachi 3:1; also Hebrews 9:11-15). This is My blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28; also Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; I Corinthians 11:25).

Word Studies:

1:6 fear = reverence, willing obedience; 1:13 snuffed at = sneered, lightly esteemed, despised, scorned; torn = stolen; 2:12 the master and the scholar = the priest or the layman meaning all people; 3:13 stout = arrogant, harsh.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. John A. Hash · Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Government Official: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) · Country: Qatar (724,000) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally · 92% Muslim; 4% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; 1% Hindu; .5% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Numbers 21:7).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:14

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