Today’s passage: Malachi 3:6-15
- God has made covenants to Abraham and to David that are going to be fulfilled. God is immutable, He does not change. Israel’s continued existence will not be a result of their faithfulness, but God’s.
- The law required Israel to bring in tithes. These tithes were not optional offerings, they were required.
- The tithes provided for the spiritual leaders and function of the worship of the people. If there were no tithes coming in, the worship would be negatively effected.
- God allows the people to test Him! He is urging them to do what He has commanded them to do by faith, and then wait and see how He provides.
- It is important that we read this challenge/testing in the context where it was presented, under the Old Covenant in Israel. It is good for Christians under the New Covenant to give willingly and with a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7).
- Israel had not been following God, and yet they said it hadn’t been worth it to follow God because He hadn’t blessed them the way they wanted.
- If we design our own version of Christianity and then expect God to uphold our expectations on Him, we’ve got things upside down.
Questions to consider:
- How would it be helpful to encourage people to give today with what we read in verse 10? When could that encouragement go too far and become harmful? When is encouraging giving good discipleship, and when does it cross the line into becoming harmful?
- How can we know that we aren’t redesigning our own version of the faith? Where could we go to see who He is and what He has called us to be? How must we approach the Word of God if we are to grow in Christ-likeness to serve the “Lord of Hosts?”
- What did God’s unchanging promises result in for our salvation? Who made up that plan? Who saw it through? To whom belongs the glory and praise?