Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tithing, Malachi 3, Robbing God - Justice

How did tithing turn into the opposite of its intended meaning? Why did it become a collection of money for the purpose of sermons, buildings and programs? It was never used that way in the OT.

If we know anything about God, we know that He desires justice. And yet, rich people in the Old Testament were robbing Him of justice. How? By not tithing.

Who was the tithe for? The truth is verse 5 describes God's plan for justice and it was up to the rich land/herd owners to provide proper wages and a tithe from the land for the widow/orphan/alien/Levites.

It's fascinating that many bibles put a title between verse 5 and 6 of Malachi 3 called Robbing God, giving the impression that a new thought has started. I wonder if it was a religious minded editor that wanted the tithes to flow into the church coffers and away from those in real need?

5 "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'

8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
Malachi 3:5-10

What is even more confusing is that offerings today do not reflect the call for justice that both 1 Corinthians 16:2 or Malachi 3 reflect. So the question remains the same today as it was in Malachi's time,
Who is Robbing God?

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