WHAT DO I REALLY THINK OF GOD? Do I really believe he is worth serving? Do I believe in eternal rewards? God, through the prophet Malachi, tells us that we answer those questions with our money.
In Malachi 3 God promises that a “messenger” will precede the coming of the God of justice, in order to prepare his way (:1). Jesus later insists that this forerunner was John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus (Matt. 11:10). But he warns that his coming will be as a purifying fire. In particular, he will put them on trial and he himself will testify against “sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me…” (:5). He dwells on one sin, however, in a bit more detail -- the sin of robbing God of the tithes and offerings that are due him (:6-12).
It is not the money that matters to God, it is the attitude that is reflected in holding it back. It betrays arrogance against God and cynicism about the value of serving him. “`You have spoken arrogantly against me,’ says the LORD. `Yet you ask, “What have we said against you?” You have said, “It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?” (13-14).’
How arrogant it is to know God has commanded that we love him with our wealth, to refuse to do so and to think we know better or that God can be safely ignored. How cynical we are about his promises to reward us in this life and the next to think that serving God in this way is a waste of time and effort. But withholding our tithes and offerings from God betrays that as the true state of our hearts. Many Christians despise God and don’t see it. They say it quite plainly, however, with their money.