Yesterday we observed a holiday paying honor to those who have served our nation, many who have spilled their blood on foreign fields of battle that we might enjoy the freedom yesterday to be with family and friend. I was reading through Malachi and was also reminded that the people of God in his day had to be reminded to pay honor as well. But this tribute was to the Lord. Note the words God had His prophet speak, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if I then be a Father, where is Mine honor?” (1:6). Talk is cheap is what was basically being said in this context, its one thing to call God revered titles, quite another to actually show it to Him.
For instance, 1:7-8, “Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar. . . and ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?” How often we are tempted to hold back a tithe justifying that I need it more than God or His servants or this income doesn’t fall within “the 10% realm”, or to not render our very best service in cleaning the church, teaching or helping in a class, or we just sit around watching everyone else serve, etc. We give the “blind for sacrifice”. In so doing we may be paying lip service in homage to the Lord but in actuality our deeds show the very opposite ! Yes, we can all slip into such offerings and the basic reason is we honor ourselves more than Him.
But I like what Malachi writes later, “Bring 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.” (3:10). My wife and I have lived by faith for many many years now and I still recall a man in our church making a loving motion in a meeting to pay back some of the salary we never received. The next month another man told me, “Do you realize thats a good bit of money, for our church to pay.” In my mind I was thinking, “True, I do realize it, because we made many sacrifices not having it !” Ha. One man was trying to honor God and His servants, another didn’t realize his thoughts were actually dishonoring and hurtful, especially from someone who had a very good and steady income. But this aside we have always noticed that when we give as we ought, God always provides.
For our thirtieth anniversary we wanted to do something special as to a trip but couldnt justify it financially, and God provided the means through a sudden private donation to us. Only God knew our situation, we have never “hinted” to others but God has always taken care of us and sometimes He’s even given above our needs ! As I study His Word I prefer to think it’s because when you strive to honor Him (whether your giving financially or in your service) He notices and He blesses !! You can’t outgive Him, that’s for sure !!