Summary: Malachi Series - 5 of 6.


Malachi 3:7-12

INTRO: A man had built a prosperous business through zealous toil and honest

dealings. As he advanced in age, he felt concerned about the future of his enter

prise because he had no close relatives except three nephews. One day he sum

moned the young men and said, "I have a problem, and whoever comes up

with the best solution will inherit all that I possess."

Giving each of them an equal sum of money, he instructed them to buy some

thing that would fill his large office. "Spend no more than I’ve given you," he

directed, "and be sure you’re back by sunset." All day long his nephews

sought to fulfill their mission. Finally, when the shadows lengthened, they obe

diently returned to make their report.

Their uncle asked to see their purchases. The first dragged a huge bale of straw

into the room. When it was untied it made a pile that nearly hid two of the walls.

After it was cleared away, the second brought in two large bags of thistledown,

which when released, filled three-fourths of the room. This was even better than

the first.

The third nephew stood silent and forlorn. "And what have you to offer?"

asked his aged relative. "Uncle, I spent half of my money to feed a hungry

child and gave almost all the rest to the church. With the little I had left, I

bought these matches and a small candle." Then he lit the candle, and its light

filled every corner of the room!

The kindly old man realized that here was the noblest of them all. He blessed

him for making the best use of his gift and gave him all his possessions.

The tragedy of Israel’s sin against God is that, most of all, she cheated herself

out of His greatest blessings. It is always that way.

Malachi’s fifth indictment against Israel was that she had gone away from God

and had not kept His commandments. When the Lord called the people to turn

back to Him, they asked, "Wherein shall we return?"

The Lord then pointed to their failure to tithe as one area in which they had been

disobedient and of which they needed to repent. His words teach us that when

we do not tithe we rob God, we rob the church and we rob ourselves.

I. WE ROB GOD (v. 9).

When we do not tithe, we rob God of that which is rightfully His. Look

at Malachi’s charge in verse 9. Rob means to take by force.

One of the fundamental facts of life is "The earth is the Lord’s, and

the fullness thereof." Ultimately all things belong to Him, and He has

a rightful claim on all that we possess.

Christian stewardship is really nothing less than all we do with all that

we have. The amount Jesus is talking about is a pretty big amount: it’s

100 percent. Stewardship is not just about how much of what I own will

I give to God. It’s about how much of me have I given to God....

Stewardship is not about paying dues. Sometimes I wish it were because

that would be easier: just tell me how much I owe, and I can pay the

Lord just as I pay the bills. It’s not paying dues. It’s about deliberately

making deposits of my time and my energy and what I own into God’s

business.... Fundamentally, stewardship begins with giving 100 percent

of who I am to God.

Ultimately all things belong to God including the tithe. When we fail to

give it, we rob Him of that which is rightfully His. The Scriptures are

clear: the tithe is the Lord’s


When we do not tithe, we rob God’s house of that which is needed to

carry on His worship and work. Malachi challenged Israel to support the


The people were not tithing and, as a result, the essentials of worship

were lacking. It is always that way.

There are three books of worship — the hymn book, the Holy Book, and

the pocketbook. When you come to church, bring all three, for it takes

all of them to make worship complete.

Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. We ought to love it

enough to give ourselves and our possessions to its ministry. When we

don’t give as we ought, His worship and work both suffer.

Stewardship of possessions is the effect of God’s saving grace upon

one’s self and his property. When God gets a man with a car He gets a

car to be used in His service.

Some seem to think of stewardship as a whip or as legal action to drive

people to give to the expenses of the church. No doubt too often the

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