Malachi 3:10-12(KJV) 10Bring 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. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
This week we have been studying the tithe. I believe this practice predates the law and is part of covenant relationship. God is the source of all we have. I believe it is a reasonable thing for us to give back to him the first ten percent of what he provides for us. Although this is certainly not the only thing we need to do to keep our heart right toward God where finances are concerned, I find it to be something that helps me.
This week we have focused on the way the tithe was used under the Mosaic Law. God instructed Israel to bring the tithe into the storehouse. For me, this is the local church. It was to be the inheritance of the tribe of Levi, those called to fulltime service in the house of God, so they would not have to work in the secular world. This was not some form of charity. This was God’s method of paying those whom he employed.
In the New Testament, I believe this system is the best way to care for those who meet our spiritual needs. This is not a matter of law or doctrine, but I believe it is the wisdom of God. We have used the tithe in this way for 24 years and it has produced great blessing in our church.
To finish our look at the practice of tithing, I want to point out the blessing that God ties to it in Malachi 3. The first thing he says in verse ten is that we can prove him in this. What does that mean? It means that God is challenging us to see if he will keep his Word. This is very interesting.
I do not know of another area where God makes this kind of statement. God is a faith God. Faith is not something you just “give a try.” You either believe God or not. The very nature implies that God is true to his Word and we can stand on the promises contained within it. The idea of proving God to see if he will do what he says he will do almost seems the opposite of faith to me. What is the significance of this?
I do not believe this means we can tithe for a week and see if it works. I believe the only way to receive the benefits we are going to talk about is to tithe because we believe God will do what he says. We must be willing to be faithful in this even if we see no results at first. If we are not faithful, we will never see the blessings. Most of the time, when people step out into something like tithing, things will get worse before they get better. The Devil does not want us to get established in truth so he tries to pluck it up before it really gets rooted in us.
Yet God does tell us to prove him in the tithe. I believe this is to emphasize to us how important these things are to God. We must still stand on the promise by faith, but God wants us to know that in this area we will see results. He will move on our behalf. If we tithe, certain things will happen. They may not happen in a week or a month, but they will happen. This is God’s covenant to us.
What will happen? God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing we cannot contain. Wow. That is almost too big for us to handle. What could the open windows of heaven mean to us today? I do not really know. I know it sounds like there is no need in my life that will go unmet if the windows of heaven were open over it. It sounds to me like God is saying that there are no limits to the blessing available to the tither.
Specifically this can mean different things to different people, but I think it is bigger than most of us are able to accept at face value. We recently went through a devastating flood in our area. It rained heavily for almost two days. When it rains that way, we sometimes say the heavens opened. This is the idea behind this statement concerning the tithe. God is willing to pour out a torrential rain of blessing on the tither. He will meet every need in abundance. We need to grasp this truth with our faith.
The reason this must be so is the covenant. God established the blood covenant with Abraham. The church lives in the age of the New Covenant, but the basis is still the idea of blood covenant. When two parties come into covenant together, what belongs to one belongs to the other. If I give the first fruits of my increase to my covenant partner, he will give to me the same and more. It is not that God needs to obligate himself to bless us. It is that this covenant relationship means the devil has no right to stop God from blessing me. I am in covenant with God. I am exercising that covenant by paying my tithe. The devil has no legal right to keep me from receiving the blessing of God.
God uses this extreme term so we will understand that it is his will to bless us abundantly. It is his will that our needs should be me. It is his will that we have the desires of our heart. The most important aspect of this blessing, however, is that we become the same kind of channel of blessing as our covenant partner. Note the next part of this blessing. “And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
In this study, I have tried to emphasis the balance in what God wants to do for us. He loves us. He wants to meet our needs. Nevertheless, there is a more important purpose in God’s heart. He wants to use us to bless others. If we are blessed so much that we cannot contain it, God’s intention is that we give it to others. Jesus taught that the man who simply built bigger barns to contain more was not rich toward God. That has not changed.
God wants to do something very big in the life of his covenant partners. When they bring him their tithe, he promises a huge blessing. He does not intend for us to squander this blessing on the lusts of the flesh. He expects us to become a channel of that blessing to the world around us. As we do, we are also able to share with people an even greater blessing. That is the blessing of knowing Jesus as savior and lord. That is the real point of all that God gives to us.
Release your faith in this blessing today. If you have never tithed, prove God in this and see if he will not do what he said. If you have been a tither for years but have not seen the blessing God says you should have, start to stir up your faith in this promise. If you are experiencing the blessing of the tithe, make sure that you are the channel God wants you to be. That is the best way to ensure that the channel of blessing continues in your life.