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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Testing God (Malachi 3:10)

Have you ever come across a passage of Scripture, decided you don't like what it says, and then tried to push back with excuses of why it doesn't apply to you? I think this verse would be one of the top 10, most people would want to say doesn't apply.

The word, "tithe," means one tenth. The intention is that everything we receive belongs to God and in faith, God wants us to give the first 10th back to Him.

In fact, God prefaced this command to "bring the whole tithe" into the storehouse with, if you're not bringing the whole tithe, you're robbing God:

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.

But then the legitimate question we want to ask is, who was this passage written to and who does it apply to today?

This passage was written to Israel under the Mosaic Law. However today, we are no longer under the Law but under grace. So does this passage still apply to us? Is this something God still expects us to honor?

Many will just stop right there and say, "no this doesn't apply to me" and not look any further. But if we are truly followers of Jesus, we have to look further to make sure we are not "robbing God."

1) What example do we see through the church in the New Testament? Actually over and over in (Acts 4:31-35, 2 Corinthians 9:6-12, and Galatians 6:6), we see an over abundance of providing for the work of the ministry. The believers in the early church shared everything with each other, far beyond a 10th, to further the advancement of the gospel and the work of the ministry.

2) Looking back at Malachi 3:10 again, notice God says, "Test me in this." Throughout all of Scripture we are told to never test God. But in this one thing, tithing, God says "test Me" and see "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."

So the simple way to determine if this command still applies to us is to "test God" in this, as this passage says.

My husband and I were not raised in church. We had never been taught what "tithing" actually meant. So in 2002, when the pastor of our church in southern Illinois preached on tithing and taught us what it actually meant, we both immediately realized the $20 - $50 we had left over to put in the offering plate was no where close to "bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse," worshiping God, and trusting Him in this.

But at that point in our lives, we had a mortgage, two car payments, 3 school-age children, and had just made the decision to cut our income in half so that I could pour more time and attention into our kids.

So trusting God in tithing meant things were not going to add up. That first "10th" was needed to pay the bills. But on that same Sunday that our pastor taught us what tithing actually meant, a friend of ours got up and shared a very similar story to ours. He and his wife were in the same boat when they were taught about tithing and realized they were not obeying God. For them too, tithing meant things were not going to add up.

But our friends decided to trust God and were able to say, God made it work. There were unexpected promotions and things just kept working out for them. They quickly learned God meant it when He said, "test me in this."

After hearing our friend's testimony and our pastor's teaching, Chip and I knew God was calling us to also test Him in this. So we began to tithe. As we did, because it was hard, it was absolutely an act of worship knowing we were truly trusting God, rather than just saying we trusted Him. Quickly there were unexpected blessings that made up that remaining 10th. It really didn't take us long to see that God meant what He said.

After that, because we had taken a hard step and trusted God in this area it made it easier for us to trust Him in other areas that were hard, like leaving our family and friends and moving half way across the country to Nebraska because we felt like that's what God was calling us to do. Trusting Him with health issues that were bigger than I could bear on my own. Trusting Him when we had to make end of life decisions for my parents.

For us, tithing was the first big step of not just saying we believed but truly obeying and following. I don't know where any of you are in this. But from our experience I would encourage you to meditate on this Scripture and by faith, "Test God" in this.

Dear Lord, Thank you for putting it on our pastor's heart to teach us about tithing. Thank you for using our friends' example to give us the confidence to obey your command to test You in this. Thank you for showing us that logically when things shouldn't add up, You can be trusted to always provide exactly what we need.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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