The Lord often speaks about money in Scripture. In fact, there are more verses about this subject than there are about prayer or heaven and hell. Over half of Jesus’ parables dealt with financial situations. We’ll never go wrong by heeding Scripture’s instructions because it’s our best guide for personal financial management.
So, let’s take a look at Malachi 3:8-11. It was written to the nation of Israel, but the principles found in this passage still apply to God’s people today:
The Lord requires a tithe, which is ten percent of one’s income. Because the Israelites failed to do this, God delivered this accusation: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings” (v. 8). If we understand that everything belongs to God, we’ll acknowledge that to withhold what He requires is the equivalent of stealing from Him.
God’s blessings overflow when we give. “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows’” (v. 10). When we obey the Lord regarding our finances, His blessings don’t just trickle in, they overflow.
God invites us to test Him in the area of giving. Knowing that we may doubt, He challenges us to test Him and see that He will indeed keep His promise (v. 10).
God protects those who give. “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes” (v. 11). Although it may seem risky to follow God’s instructions, obedience actually places us and our possessions under His care and protection.
The Lord isn’t asking for money because He needs something from us. He already owns it all. What He wants is our obedience, and if we love Him, our desire will be to follow His instructions. God knows all our present circumstances and will show Himself strong and faithful to meet all our needs if we simply trust Him and obey.
This article was originally published on April 30, 2017, and is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “Your Convictions About Money,” which aired this weekend on TV.