God poses an interesting question in the book of Malachi. In Malachi 3:8, He asks: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”
I don’t know of any Christian who would walk into a bank with a gun to make a “withdrawal.” He would not do this, since he would not want to blatantly violate God’s Law in such a fashion, and he would also be afraid of doing so for fear of being caught, prosecuted and jailed for committing such a terrible crime. Nor would any Christian sneak at night into his neighbor’s garden to steal vegetables and fruit, knowing full well that stealing is against one of the Ten Commandments. In addition, he knows that being caught and punished for committing such an act would ruin his reputation in the community. Yet, why is it that some Christians neglect to tithe altogether, or why do they sit at their office desk at home or the kitchen table and write a check in support of the Church that does not represent a full tithe–even though they realize that the tithing commandment is one of the basic requirements for a Christian?
It is not rocket science! One only needs to look at the amount on the salary check from the employer and move the decimal point one figure to the left, and that represents ten percent. A grade school child could be taught this.
Since there do not seem to be immediate consequences for their shortchanging God, some Christians conclude that it is somehow all right to pay God less than what is commanded. Others think that when they faithfully tithe a full ten percent of their increase, that is all that is required of them. They overlook that even then, they are still called unprofitable servants because they simply fulfilled their duty to God to tithe. But we rob God when we don’t faithfully tithe or when we don’t give Him acceptable offerings. It appears that the people described in the book of Malachi were shortchanging God in their tithes and that they were only giving “nominal” offerings–or that they did not pay any tithes and failed to give any offerings at all.
Tithing from the entire amount of our increase is a requirement, and so are offerings which are over and above God’s tithe. When giving an offering, we demonstrate to God where our heart really is. Both Cain and Abel gave offerings, but God rejected the offering of wicked and evil Cain, while accepting the offering of righteous Abel. It is interesting to note that there is no specific instruction as to how much of an offering we need to give–other than the fact that we are to consider and evaluate how much God has blessed us physically and spiritually. When we give an offering, we take advantage of the opportunity to show God how truly we appreciate His involvement in our lives, by giving cheerfully and not grudgingly (Deuteronomy 16:17; 2 Corinthians 9:7).
We are fast approaching the Fall Festival Season, with the first of the annual Fall Holy Days, the Feast of Trumpets, beginning this Friday, at sunset. God commanded us to give offerings during this autumn season. Our offering on each annual Holy Day should not only be for the purpose of proving to God that we would never want to rob Him, but also to demonstrate to Him our deep appreciation for His blessings and for the privilege to be part of and support the most important Work on the face of the earth today–that of announcing, preaching and publishing the gospel or good news of the soon coming Kingdom of God to a sick and dying world. God knows and has decreed that His Work will be accomplished with or without our faithful tithes and generous offerings–but God has granted us the opportunity to participate in His great plan and purpose–and what a GREAT privilege it is!