Malachi 1:7-14 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
This can be a confusing passage, but I thought it fitting for us as a church at this time of year. In this passage the Lord is scolding his people, the children of Israel, because they were bringing offerings to the Lord that were corrupt and vile. God had set very strict guidelines for the offerings that were to be given to the Lord, and the children of Israel were disregarding these guidelines. God did not even want this offering brought to Him.
How does this apply to our modern day Christianity? We are not bringing lambs, turtle doves, or live offerings to the Lord. God is telling the children of Israel that He is concerned with our heart intent and not just the gift. In today’s society, there are many people who in the name of “religion” build hospitals or mission works and give to the poor and needy; but they are not doing this out of a pure heart. Most want some reciprocation for their giving. This may not even be with financial remuneration. The person may just want a plaque or a news report about their giving. God wants our heart to be pure in our giving. We should give because we love the Lord, and we want our gift to be as perfect and righteous as it can be. Is this your heart’s desire? As we think of the stewardship time in our church, let this be our prayer.
The Devil’s Reasons for Not Tithing!
In January because of Christmas bills due.
In February because of fuel bills and car upkeep.
In March because of income taxes.
In April because of clothes for Easter.
In May because too much rain threatens the crops.
In June because too little rain threatens the crops.
In July because of vacation expenses coming up.
In August because of vacation expenses to be paid.
In September because of the children’s school needs.
In October because of winter clothes and doctor bills.
In November because of the Thanksgiving trip.
In December because of the Christmas shopping.
What are your reasons?