Monday, February 11, 2008


In our McWorship message series through the book of Malachi we have been identifying 8 key words which we must understand if we are going to be authentic worshippers of God in this fast food culture. So far we have seen the words Love, Service, Discipline, Marriage and Messiah. Last Sunday we looked at the one word which creates the most emotion…MONEY. As we studied Malachi 3:7-12, we saw that this passage can be outlined by three key words of its own…Return (v7); Robbery (v8-9); and Reward (v10-12).

In verse 7, God states the fact of Israel’s need to return to obedience. The pattern of Israel is one of continually resisting God’s command. God makes it clear that if they would return to the Lord, God would return to them. As has been the pattern in this powerful book, Israel responds by asking the question, “How shall we return?” In verse 8, God answers their question by stating that they had committed a crime. Israel was guilty of robbing God in their tithes and offerings. The word “rob” occurs only here and in Proverbs 22:22. It means “to defraud” or to “take forcibly.” God says, “When it comes to tithes and offerings, you have defrauded me by taking forcibly what is mine

Now why are we taking the time to talk about money? Isn’t there some unspoken rule about the separation of church and my money? Actually, just the opposite is true. Jesus talked about money or possessions in 16 out of 38 parables. On the average, 1 in every 10 verses in the Gospels speaks of money and possessions. There are about 500 verses about prayer and about faith; but over 2,000 verses on money or possessions. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 7:21). You see, if we are going to be authentic worshippers of God we must do more than talk about money. We must be proper stewards of all of our finances. In the New Testament (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-7) we learn that when it comes to giving, we are to do so sacrificially, systematically, liberally and cheerfully. Because Israel was robbing God in their tithes and offerings, God had cursed them through crop failure. As a result, a very important principle is seen. By robbing God they were also robbing themselves. Some people say, “I can’t afford to give!” My friend, you can’t afford not to give!

God issues the challenge. Israel is told to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. The problem wasn’t just the fact that they were not giving, it was that they were not giving what they should have been. Yet, the average child of God today is also robbing God and by robbing God they are also robbing themselves. So God gives what almost appears to be a dare. He dares Israel to test Him through obedience in the giving of their tithes and offerings. He promises that if they do that, He would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on them until it overflows. You see, that is another principle we need to understand. It is impossible to out give God. For Israel this blessing included taking the locusts away and providing good crops so that other nations would notice. But the same test applies to us today. The dare is still valid. God promises to bless those who give Biblically (Matthew 6:33; Acts 4:31-35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-12; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:14-19). Go ahead…GOD DARES YOU! HE DOUBLE DARES YOU!

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