After reading about the Priests in Malachi chapter 2, who had lost their way, it’s so refreshing to read that God tells the entire people of Israel, who have also turned away from His instructions, how to find their way back to Him. God is so good!!
Chapter 3: 6-12 contains a few verses, possibly quite familiar to you. They are often used when speaking about tithes and offerings. Here God instructs His people to bring the tithes into the storehouse and see how He will bless them abundantly. However, I believe there is so much more that God wants to say to us through this passage.
He starts out by saying “I, the Lord do not change” (vs6).
God does not change! What a declaration!
He is the same God today as He was yesterday. He is the same God who created the earth, the heavens, breathed life into you and me, and paints the sky a million shades of brilliance every morning and every evening.
He is the same God who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised Jesus from the dead and promised us His everlasting love and His ever-close Spirit.
He does not change! So, when He says, “I will not leave you, nor forsake you” (Deut 31:8) That means He will never leave us!
Whenever there is separation between us and God, it is always us who walks away.
This was the same for the people of Israel in the book of Malachi.
God declares His faithfulness in verse 6 and contrasts it with their wandering in verse 7. He says, “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees.” He is reminding His people that He is the same God who covenanted relationship with them, therefore He is still upholding His side of the covenant. However they are the ones who are not keeping His commands. They are the ones who have walked away.
Yet despite this, in verse 7 God still says, “Return to me…” He always wants His people back.
His heart has always been and always is for restored relationship.
He also says “and I will return to you”. At this point I began wondering, if God has not left them or broken the covenant why does He need to say I will return to you?
When God is calling His people back, saying return to Me, He wants them to come back into relationship with Him. He is calling them to repentance, to faithfully serve God with devoted hearts and obedient hands. And His response to their act of repentance is “I will be faithful to my covenant of blessing.” He will accept them, establish them, and bless them once again.
His call to return is an invitation to His grace.
When the people ask how they are to return to Him, He gives them the vital first step.
This is how they are to find their way back.
He asks them to trust Him with what they think is their source of security. He asks them to trust Him with their tithes and offerings.
Oh, how He is still saying that to us today!
These are the things that they rely on for their daily provisions and yet God is saying surrender them to Me – rely on Me instead and see that I will greatly provide for you (vs10). Not only does He promise to provide for them, He also promises to protect them. (vs11)
How often do we think to ourselves, I cant trust God with that…whatever “that” may be for us?
Can we take the step of returning to Him by trusting Him with our tithes.
Are we willing to surrender whatever we think brings us security and believe in His promise of provision?
The amazing thing is, when we do, we get to watch Him be faithful to us.
He is ready and waiting to accept, establish and bless us, let’s be willing to accept His invitation of grace and return to Him.
Can I encourage you my friend to trust Him with your offerings of tithes and indeed your whole hearts?.
Laura Jane Anslow