Robbing God

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3:8).

When our children were young, we felt convicted by God to teach them the principle of tithing. We incorporated this lesson into our homeschooling and purchased little, white glow-in-the-dark church banks in which they could place their dimes, quarters, nickels, and pennies. When they earned money for chores or received money as gifts, we taught our children how to determine one tenth of the amount and place it into their bank. They loved the sound of the dropping coins and felt so grown up as they placed their own money into the offering plate each Sunday at church.

As time went by, we thought the habit of tithing had been firmly established in our children. We expected them to be diligent in giving part of their hard-earned money from part-time jobs to the Lord. However, the temptations to buy new CDs, videos, clothes, and teenage toys proved to be too strong. One day I noticed all my son's new purchases, and I wondered where the money had come from to buy them. I questioned whether or not he had been tithing, and he sheepishly confessed that he had not.

Stealing from God isn't a new temptation. Years ago, the sons of Eli the priest in 1 Samuel 2 thought they could steal God's portion of the offerings being presented by the people of Israel. Although the priests were entitled to receive a portion of the offering for themselves (Leviticus 7), Eli's sons were confiscating the choicest part of the offering, which was to be given to God. God's rebuke for this sin was a judgment that was swift and sure. Both of his sons saw death on the same day (1 Samuel 2:34).

What about you? Are you robbing God of His portion of your family's income? With all the bills and homeschooling expenses for each month, the temptation to steal what belongs to God is just as strong today. Take God at His Word instead and claim the promise of Malachi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Lord, give me strength this day to make a change in the way we spend our money. I know all the blessings we have are from You. Guard my heart against the temptation to take Your portion for me and let my actions and faith honor You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(35 comments)


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ROSE B 12/28/2009 07:11:27

Thak you once again for the timely reminder that we need to give to God what is His! He has given us everything we have .

MARY KAY M 12/28/2009 08:21:31

Tithing is something that my husband and I have always done...until this last year. Things became overwhelming with the money stress and we just stopped giving to the Lord. We have both felt so terrible about it, but have not been able to see how to begin again. We have both committed to start tithing with our first check in January...this devotion has sealed that again in our hearts. Thank you

TAMMY H 12/28/2009 08:50:55

I am sure I will hear something about this...but I am going to summarize. Tithing was always and only food and produce unless crops never and to priests, also old covenant. In the new covenant, after Christ died tithing isn't mentioned. What is mentioned is giving, a cheerful giver. The widow gave all she had, not a 10th. There is so much to this, not one single item. Jesus requires 100% of our everything, not 10%. Do a google search on "unbiblical tithing" and do your own study to determine. Malachi 3:10-how were they robbing? by giving lame sacrifices that were unacceptable. God never required money, nor was the church ever a storehouse. Tithing was under the law, we are no longer under the law, however, if you put yourself under the law you are bound to all the law. Yes, it was also before the law with Abraham...it was offered 10% of spoils from war. When is the last time any of us got spoils from war? I will be skipping tithing as a teaching from AOP and teaching that God wants 100% and listen to Him as to how much, it could be to give 50%, not just a law of 10%.

LISA M 12/28/2010 06:07:31

Wow! After reading this devotional, I was again slammed with a huge wave of guilt. You see, I have also been raised to tithe and have, for the most part, enjoyed doing it. I continued to do it as long as I earned a paycheck, but several years after marriage and the birth of our second child, our poorly managed finances caused a good deal of marital strife. The largest check written, besides mortgage payments, was the tithe check. My husband made the decision that we could no longer afford it, despite the fact that the remaining 90% wasn't well spent. There was nothing I could do or say to change his mind. That was a couple years ago and, since then, I have tried earning money besides raising and homeschooling 5 kids with little success because I wanted to be able to give to God. A trusted advisor told me the decision to tithe has to be my husband's and I should not try to "sneak" a tithe around him to cover my guilt because he will miss out of the blessings God pours out. God is also a gracious God and blesses those who do or give within their power. I can give of what I do have, which is my time, my best, God's love to others. I enjoyed reading the above replies and for the first time, felt that guilt fall away. Those who believe and have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for sin are under a new covenant that supercedes the Old covenant. I have also heard far too many testimonies of God's blessings and miraculous working because of tithing to know that the promises in Malachi still hold true today. Give a tithe because you love your Lord and trust Him, give more if you feel called to do so. Either way, you can't outgive God.

MICHAEL R 12/28/2010 06:39:18

Tammy H, if tithing was under the law, why did Abraham give a tithe before the law was ever given?

KETURA M 12/28/2010 08:31:05

Tithing is an opportunity to express our love and thankfulness to God. God isn't concerned about the money, because He doesn't need it. It is more about laying down our "rights" to what He has blessed us with and acknowledging that without Him we wouldn't have had it to begin with. The Lord says to "test Him in this", and I have and the tremendous blessings of provision and abundance, even in the lean times has been proof enough that it still applies to believers today. Thank you for this devotion. I needed it today because it reminded me that I should be mindful of every area of my life, not just financial. I should be giving God everything I have, my time, talents, resources and so on.

JOANNA C 12/28/2010 10:47:38

I agree we are now under grace, but the Law is there to teach us, unless we are to disregard the Ten Commandments as well. Tithing can be "explained away" as with anything else, but the bottom line is if you have trouble giving Him what is His (leaving us 90%), how willing will you be to give Him more?? Never say "I can't afford to tithe"--you can't afford NOT to. That's why many struggle financially!! Just try it for a month and see how God blesses!!

CRAIG W 12/28/2010 13:00:49

As I sit here pondering what about this lesson would I want or perhaps what would God want me to teach the next generations..... maybe count your blessings...maybe ....dont try to "repay" God... or make it so you "owe" Him nothing.......give so you are sure to get.......give so you are sure not to have taken away.......give so you can control what God can do......give so you can sleep at night because the boogie man wont get you......give because it is the law......give and just have faith.......or did Jesus say I came to fullfill the law and this is a realtionship???? True -I AM- is the same yesterday today and tomorrow........true we no longer have sheep and cows and crops as our main source of living or profit....as a matter of fact we live in a time that actually time is of more value than anything....so is it about money...cows...doves...mites..talents...time...family...or the HEART??? I pray that Christ in me will be more evident in His blessing thru my life and relationships and my heart than thru my material goods or my material blessing.......Can I praise Him when the well has gone dry with no relief in sight or when walking into a death chamber due to my belief in Him....so I ponder......ask again for wisdom to pass to my children about His relationship and not the rules that He really meant to give us for freedom in life -long service of Everything -first and foremost my heart and my pockets will follow......and I never find it good to give to God to see what you get in return especially if you have your own agenda....In my life time very few time does it turn out the way I would have picked it. HE is always good and faithful and just but rarely has He worked in a way I would have imagined...Be faithful with your heart and all else you have -first to Him and then treat others as yourself that was our Greatest commandment left by Jesus . He also said the poor will always be among you so it best not to judge a persons commitment or financial blessings level by their pockets either! If you're hurting financially pray and ask God what He wants from your relationship and how you can "give" you may be surprised how creative our God can be!!! Then follow His heart in cheerful giving of your heart and perhaps your money...time.....cookies.....chickens....talents....but never give to receive back......I quess this would be what I have already started to teach my children hopefully they carry on to theirs..if this blesses God.....

THERESA S W 12/29/2010 09:39:20

Thank you for your comments Craig W. Our church fellowship needs our support in many ways, but should never use "scare tactics" or promises of material blessings to get money. The church as a whole needs to trust God for those material things they think they need. If the church as a whole and as individual members cares for its members and reaches out to care for others, all that is needed will follow. Christ was asked what is the greatest commandment. He answered that we should love God with all our heart, mind, and soul and love others as we love ourselves. Doing this fulfills ALL other commandments. This lines us up to give that 100% however God leads us, without monetary obligation and without approval or disapproval of any group of people, based on our personal relationship with God.

theresonly1 W 12/29/2010 10:07:33

Matthew 23:23 (New King James Version) 23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay TITHE of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These YOU OUGHT TO HAVE DONE, WITHOUT LEAVING THE OTHERS UNDONE. (Emphasis mine.) If you are so obviously and hotly offended by a devotional that encourages us to tithe as Jesus Himself directed us to do here in the NEW Testament, I believe it shows that you think that what you have belongs to you (and no one should be able to tell you what to do with it). We shouldn't live in condemnation if we cannot tithe (because our husbands have chosen not to, etc.), but we should also not be offended when God chastises us, "the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." If you don't think the message is for you, great, but must you rail on a brother/sister for writing a devotional on a sound Biblical principal? The church has light bills and water bills to pay, too, and ours (run by missionaries) certainly would not be able to function if it's members only "tithed their time," however "nice" that sounds. Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Action = Coincidence Take it or leave it. Malachi 3:10 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. Tammy, the word "storehouse" is used in the same sentence as the phrase "MY HOUSE." I believe you are wrong that "the church was never a storehouse." The church -- the temple -- was very much a storehouse! The Levites had to eat something! The Scripture also tells us not to "muzzle the oxen while they are treading grain." Yes, we are not "under the Law," so does that also mean we can throw the Ten Commandments out the window? He also said His Word would never pass away, and that He's the same yesterday, today and forevermore. The principles of supporting the church that you are a part of (I assume you use the electricity, eat food there, use water in the restroom, and possibly use things such as Bibles or hymnals or study materials you didn't pay for?) is a sound one. Our church has paid for its congregants to go to retreats and for youth to go to Bible camp because its people tithe. Balance. Tithing shouldn't be turned into a legalistic thing...but it should also not be undermined. Anyone who tries to get me to believe that Malachi 3 doesn't say what it says -- and, by the way, this is the only time the Lord tells us to "test" Him! -- is undermining His Word! A preacher walked into his church with a grill and can of lighter fluid. He took up the offering, and then had the money dumped into the grill and he lit on fire. He heard gasps all around and saw the people become very angry. He said to them, "This was fake money, but your reaction shows that you didn't actually give it to God -- you were still trying to hold onto it." There hasn't been enough fiscal (and many other types of) accountability within the religious world altogether, but I would hate to go to a church where someone convinced everyone not to tithe. I don't think it would be enjoyable experience to share with my brothers and sisters there, and I'm glad they ARE cheerful givers and believe in the solid Biblical principal of tithing. When we come together, there is plenty, and we all helped to make it that way, living in love with one another. THANK GOD!

TAMI R 12/29/2010 19:17:26

I remember it was a few months I came to the Lord and my husband came back to the Lord, we went to church and we were worried because we really didn't have the money to pay our tithes. (we were down to our last $20.) My husband said give it and don't worry, I said ok with uncertainty. When they came to collect the offering I gave it. (but I still worried what if there was an emergency or what if we need it for something). Well it turned out that my sister-in-law handed my husband an envelope...she said God told her to give this...He didn't open it till we got home. Turned out she gave us more than 5x's what we put in the offering basket. My husband did say give it and don't worry. Sometimes when we think we don't have or we may want something you always have to give to God first before anything. And you'll be surprised what God will do for you. Not only financially but in everything you do in life.

CLAUDIA P 01/10/2011 09:59:22

Matthew 23:23 (New King James Version) 23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay TITHE of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These YOU OUGHT TO HAVE DONE, WITHOUT LEAVING THE OTHERS UNDONE. ------------------------------- TheresOnly1, Thank you for quoting this verse. Isn't it interesting how the Pharasees were TITHING HERBS and not $$$ even though silver and gold coins were most certainly in circulation at the time. Should parishners start putting bags of cinnamon and cloves into the offering plate to follow the letter of the law then? How can you reconcile such verses to tithe 10% of one's paycheck?

TERRI LEE S 02/03/2011 11:01:44

There are none so blind as those who will not see. What is being said is that tithes/offerings are not all that is required of you. Those same Pharasees were walking by people they knew to be hungry, cold, sick or whatever and doing nothing to help them - in other words showing no love. All we do should be in love. Give what God asks in tithes and offerings, help your neighbors, etc. God bless.

TERRI LEE S 02/03/2011 11:03:45

Oops - forgot - if cinnamon and cloves are what you grow, then by all means tithe it.

ROSE M 12/28/2011 04:41:56

How can you withhold what isn't even yours? You cannot serve two masters. We are just stewards of His money and should be glad to give His church 10% and live off the 90%.

TJ M 12/28/2011 07:47:10

Isn't it interesting that "in the world" we are asked to give at least 15% to a waitress or waiter, hair stylist, even the paper boy for good service? You are considered cheap if you don't do at least the 15% if you receive good service. Even more is expected for exceptional service...(and with the price of taking out 7 in our family, that can get expensive ;o) ...Christians should be the best tippers.... ..I can't give enough to God...it started as a small amount pre-Jesus, but going to church...then when I accepted Christ...to tithing and giving extra when the need arises and knowing that God will replace what I give if He chooses to. It is not a burden, nor do I think I'm being robbed...it is a joy and a privilege. I tell our children all the time...concerning all aspects of our walk with God..."You don't have to...you get to"...we are so blessed, how could we put a limit on our giving...whether it be time, money or things. You go through seasons of your life where you may have one more than the other...but God sees your heart and he willingly accepts what you offer...granted it is giving with a pure and joyful heart. He says he wants to give good gifts to his children...go God!!! When we do our part, he does his part...and it is way better than we can hope, think or imagine! ;o) Blessings!

SHERITA L 12/28/2011 18:08:51

Personally, I believe the entire word and understand it in it's context. Therefore as a true believer I will tithe No matter what hardships I am experiencing. Tithing has always worked in my life as I walk by faith and not by sight. As a Christian believer I could not imagine my life not being a tither; as the tithe works according to how one is increased so then it's never a burden. Bring a tither has always blessed me and my family's life. I trust in God's word it has never failed me!! Nor will it ever!!! The word of God won't fail.

SHELLEY S 12/28/2011 19:57:23

I teach my children that while tithing is a great principle, and many people have found it to be a helpful financial discipline, it is no longer an obligation or requirement for a New Testament believer. I want them to know that because of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, we are now free to give as the Holy Spirit directs, and that our heart attitude in giving is more important than giving a set percentage.

JESSICA P 12/28/2011 23:22:01

Beautiful devotional! Biblical, encouraging, and a blessing.

MARY D 12/29/2011 09:52:00

Shelley, did you read Theresonly1 W's response? If you are a true believer, you can't be a "New Testament" believer. It's ALL God's Word, not half of it. Thank you for this devotion. I have not tithed since becoming a born again believer four years ago. I have struggled with it, making excuses, putting it off, etc. God used this devotion to bring it to my attention that I need to start working on this part of my devotion to Him. It is time and Praise God for His timing in bringing this devotion to me. I love giving all to Him who paid it all for me. Thank you Lord for your provisions and blessings in my life.

ALICE N 12/29/2011 12:12:56

So many good responses to a great devotional! I used to play a game with tithing--what I would give at church each week just had to fit into our "budget" (which really just means our sorry spending habits!) Well, my family's finances have been turned up-side-down over the last four years. God has revealed Himself so much to us through these trials and we praise Him for the discipline and teaching!! We are now fully devoted tithers and use 10% as the floor of that giving, not the ceiling! Everything we have belongs to God---it is our great honor and privelige to give back to Him (supporting our local church first... good to remember that the building doesn't take care of itself and our pastors should not be left unpaid---that's NT!) I worship the Lord through my giving--of money, time, talents, witness--and I LOVE doing it! Praise God!

ROBERT D 12/29/2011 21:32:18

If tithing is only under the law, and that we don\'t need to do it as new testament christians, then, what about other portions of the law, murder, steal, covet? Are we not suppose to be under them anymore? This seems to be an absurd splicing of God\'s Word. Remember that Jesus did not stop the Pharisees from tithing, but he admonished them to not forget judgment and love.

MARSHA F 01/03/2012 16:29:13

Tammy H is right - we must not rob God by KEEPING HIS 90%. Psalm 24:1 - \"The earth is the Lord\'s, and everything in it...\" Giving is a wonderful thing to teach our children - but with joy and kindness. Let\'s not teaching them to begrudgingly \'give\' 10% of \'their\' money back to God, when it\'s all his in the first place.

DAWN N 12/28/2012 05:39:14

I read each comment and love to see how God is working in our hearts individually to draw ourselves closer to Him. Can each person be correct or is there really one truth in this matter? God promises to give us wisdom if we just ask, and I would suggest also that we must really ready ourselves to hear it. The thing that keeps coming to my heart is that the \"Storehouse\" would not only provide the living of the priests (now pastors and worship leaders) and care of the temple (now water and heat bill, mortgage, etc.) but also provide for the poor in the congregation. The American church, at least those I am familiar with, is wonderfully focused on missionary work in faraway lands. That is very good. But do we provide a storehouse for the poor among us. people in our churches that need help? I am struggling with whether that should be a part of our tithing. The new testament believers shared freely among themselves so that no one was in want. How beautiful! How totally and painfully against our American individualist and pursuit-of-happiness way of thinking! Ouch! Where would we each draw the line as to what we truly need and what could be shared? What do we put our trust in? I am so weak and so love to be secure and comfortable. In my own strength I want to control everything. Help us Lord to put our trust in You. \"They will know we are Christians by our love\" Still praying to God about this...

PAMELA R 12/28/2012 06:23:23

Yes, everything belongs to God, but He will not expect us to give everything. He knows our needs. But, the principle of giving 10% is in the Bible for a reason. It was not a ceremonial law, so it does apply to those who are under grace. The Old Testament was not disregarded when Jesus died. The term \'tithes and offerings\' means 10% and more. We have made it a practice that, no matter what state our finances are in, our FIRST obligation is to take our tithes (10%) out of the paychecks and give it to our church. That is not legalistic. Our salvation does not depend on our giving of tithes. We give tithes out of love and obedience to God. If we choose to give more than 10% or when special needs arise, if we are able to give, that is our offering, as the Lord directs. If we only give after OUR expenses are taken care of, who are we putting first? It would be so easy for me to keep for myself if I felt it didn\'t matter how much I put in the plate each Sunday. We need to be careful that we don\'t use GRACE as a means to do what WE think is best. Our flesh is weak. We need to give faithfully, according to God\'s standards. Not ours.

C P 12/28/2012 06:25:52

Dawn N, I too struggled in the past with tithing. What has helped me was reading Proverbs daily, especially verses regarding laziness, diligence and debt. For our family, giving has meant we\'ve had to prioritize what\'s really important (Matthew 6:19-34, James 1:27). It\'s also meant that we had to really learn the difference between needs and wants (I still struggle with this one). In the end, God requires us to be wise stewards of all that he\'s given us. As other posters have stated, giving also requires that we check our heart condition (I Cor 13). For me, some of my desire to not give came from doubting, ungratefulness and coveting. Practically, for our family, we give, then save, and finally spend. I also do agree with other posters that we should be willing to give more than the 10% if God requires. Also, there are some American churches that do both missionary work in faraway lands and have food pantries. If your church doesn\'t have a pantry/won\'t start one, you could always donate to a food bank/local homeless shelter. God bless.

KATHY S 12/28/2012 11:19:03

I didn\'t tithe, then I did. Then I didn\'t, now I am building up to that 10%. We each have to be ready and willing to give to the Lord. I know God is working with me each step of the way. I\'m glad he loves me unconditionally, as I am so imperfect. I am glad he is patient and kind to me. Who\'s right in all these debates I read above, I haven\'t a clue. I think God has to work with each of us individually on these issues. I\'m just glad no matter what, he loves me and will help me to know what is right in his eyes. Thank you Jesus.

JESSICA D 12/30/2012 05:04:35

For those of you supporting the old covenant tithe law, I have a quick question. Do you also not eat pork and observe the holy feasts since these also were a part of the law. What makes the tithe law more important than those laws? The tithe isn\'t even a part of the 10 commandments but people keep commenting \" should we throw out the 10 commandments\". Frankly, I\'m quite sick of the money peddling. The churches I see are filthy rich, while those within the congregation are struggling to put food on the table. My parents...devout tithe tithers. They have filed bankruptcy twice, list two houses to foreclosure and are in their mid 50\'s without a dime for retirement. Now they face divorce because they no longer agree on how much to give the church. If you ask me, the dogma of tithe destroys and is not from God.

VERENA H 01/01/2013 10:35:40

If I had a dime for every time I\'ve heard Malachi 3:8 read in church during a tithe guilt trip I could easily tithe. If you look up statistics a very few amount of Christians actually tithe and I think it\'s highly related to the pathetic churches in this country and the lazy church staff. Tithing is an American thing these days, not taught too much in other countries. I think if churches were doing what they were supposed to be doing money would come rolling in.

MINDY M 01/02/2013 07:58:07

Tammy H & Jessica D- You are so right and thank you for your postings. I do not believe that God wants any of His children living in homeless shelters or not being able to pay their basic living expenses simply so they can tithe. I also believe that He does not want us riddled with guilt for not being able to give \"enough.\" For some of us, 10% of our monthly income is the difference between having heat or not. We give what we can responsibly give and we give it with a joyful heart knowing that God loves us regardless.

TAMMY H 01/04/2013 16:28:50

I am really confused now!!!!! I suppose tithing and eating pork should be like salvation \"work out your own with fear and trembling\" and that each individual should work it out prayerfully and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. While we are not under the law, was it not given for our benefit or did God do it to punish us?

BONNIE NOWAK 12/28/2013 12:49:00

God wants us to have faith in the right source,which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified....And not to have faith in tithing,or anywhere/ anything else.

KATHY SPIELER 12/28/2013 15:11:56

I wrote in here last year that I was building myself up to tithing. I am in full swing with it. It has to be in your heart to do it, or it's kind of meaningless. But let me tell you, when you give that tithe, from your heart, there is a flood of Blessings that come to you! I am in "AWE" of what the Lord has provided for me. Thank you Jesus!! All the money I receive on this earth is provided by you in one way or another anyway. 10% is a small amount to share from the one who gives it all to me!!!

jessica hance 12/28/2013 19:45:32

I have read (sad) statistics that todays christians tithe approx. 2.5%. Now that is startling! While I believe God won't punish us or strike us dead if we don't give 10% like it was manditory in the OT, I am very greatful that the bible has given us something to go on as a general rule in regards to how much we should tithe.He PROMISES to bless us if we give to Him and I have seen his blessings in my own life from tithing.Although, where more is given, more is required-if we have more coming in and we are able to give more,that's even better. We are just pilgrims passing through this world-our treasures are in the next:)

Jessica Dooling 12/31/2014 14:23:18

Please, please do not be deceived. Please take the time to read ALL of Malachi to get the context. Malachi is not about giving 10% of your income to a church. It was about the priests who gave lame and diseased animals on the alter. These animals were supposed to feed the hungry and thus the priest were robbing god by taking food out of the widow, fatherless poor peoples' mouths! This is exactly what is happening in church today when they take the widows, poor and fatherless' money. Malachi is also a prophecy of the coming perfect sacrifice of our messiah. Don't let anyone reduce this chapter to be about giving $ to a 501 3c business organization. If you want to give to god, give directly to the fatherless, the widow and the poor. Matthew 25:35-45

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