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Malachi 3:6-12 (NIV)
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israelite law stipulated that a tithe (literally a “tenth”) of all produce should be offered to God. God created everything, it all belonged to Him and the Israelites had been given their land as a gift. They did not earn it. The tithe was a way to remember this, to honor God and to always place God first in their lives. But in times of scarcity they became afraid that God would not provide. In times of abundance they acted as if they had earned everything themselves. We never do this, do we? The prophet Malachi is not promising that God will give us whatever we want if we give a tenth of our income to God. He is saying that tithing is a spiritual behavior rooted in faith. If God is first in our lives, we will remember that everything is a gift from God. God wants us to “test” him by having faith in Him and His promises. Is money an area of your life that you have not given over to God in faith? “Test” God by leaning into His love and care.