“Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. ‘Test Me in this way,’ says the Lord of Hosts. See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out a blessing for you without measure” (Malachi 3:10, HCSB).
The prophet Malachi accuses the people of Israel of robbing God (vs. 8) because they did not pay their tithes. The tithes were used to support the priests and Levites, whose ministry was essential if Israel was to be faithful to God in its calling as His chosen people. Because their land was cursed by drought and pestilence (vs. 9,11), they felt justified not giving their tithes.
Although their negligence to give their tithes may have seemed justified, God reveals, quite dramatically, that these natural disasters were not the cause of their disobedience but the result of their disobedience. So God dared them to pay it forward!
The tithe is the first 10% of your income, not the last 10% or whatever portion is left (if any) after you pay everything else. God dared them to pay the tithe no matter what the economic circumstances or conditions and then He would bless them and cause all their needs to be met.
God promised that if they pay it forward, then He would meet 100% of their needs with 90% of their resources!
Some argue that tithing is an Old Testament command and doesn’t apply to New Testament believers. But, the promise of the blessing of tithing applies to all God’s people, both Old and New Testament! And this verse presents tithing not so much as a command but as a challenge!
So, as a new year begins, be a giver! Pay it forward! Pay your tithes before you pay the bills and God will meet your financial needs.
When you pay it forward, not only will God meet your needs, but you and those who are impacted by your giving will be blessed!
God dares you to try it!