There is a close spiritual connection between the practice of tithing and our relationship to God. The Israelites prospered when they obeyed God and were faithful in tithing. In contrast, they fell on hard times when they didn’t. They seemed to follow a cycle of obedience and prosperity, and then disobedience and problems. It was during one of these periods of unfaithfulness that God, through the prophet Malachi, proposed a bilateral contract with His people.
Read Malachi 3:7–11. What are the promises and the obligations found in these verses?
God promised the people that if they would return to Him, He would return to them. When they asked what He meant by returning to Him, He explicitly said, “Stop robbing Me of tithe and offerings.” Their robbery was the reason they were being cursed. Here is God’s solution to the problem of the curse: “ ‘Bring all the tithes [the whole tithe] into the storehouse’ ” (Mal. 3:10, NKJV). And if you do this, then “ ‘I will . . . open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’ ” (NKJV). If we don’t have room enough to receive it, we have a surplus with which we can help others and help to advance the cause of God.
“He who gave His only-begotten Son to die for you, has made a covenant with you. He gives you His blessings, and in return He requires you to bring Him your tithes and offerings. No one will ever dare to say that there was no way in which he could understand in regard to this matter. God’s plan regarding tithes and offerings is definitely stated in the third chapter of Malachi. God calls upon His human agents to be true to the contract He has made with them.”—Ellen G. White, Counsels on Stewardship, p. 75.
One of the positive cycles of obedience is recorded during the reign of good King Hezekiah of Judah. There was a genuine revival in Judah, and the people started faithfully returning their tithes and offerings to the temple storehouse. So much came in that it was piled in heaps at the temple. Second Chronicles 31:5 tells what happened when the people “brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything” (NKJV).
What does your tithing (or lack thereof) say about your own spirituality and relationship to God?
Saturday, January 07
Sunday, January 08
Monday, January 09
Tuesday, January 10
Wednesday, January 11
The Tithe Contract
Thursday, January 12
Friday, January 13