Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
a. We must remember the context of this passage. The prophet is talking to Israel, not the church. This will, I believe will be established as we progress in the study.
1."Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
a. Under the Mosaic law, Israel was commanded to tithe to God, at least 2 and probably 3 separate tithes.
1). The first tithe was to go to the Levite. This was a general tithe: Leviticus 27:30-33 "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.
And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
He shall not search whether it be good of bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed."
2). The second tithe was to be used for the festivals in Jerusalem: Deuteronomy 14:22-27 "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
And it the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God blessed thee:
Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee."
3). The third tithe was for the Levite and the less fortunate: Deuteronomy 14:27-29 "At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest."
b. Apparently Israel stopped being obedient in their giving of tithes, and as a result, they were robbing God.
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
1."Ye are cursed with a curseeven this whole nation."
a. This is referring to the curse of Deuteronomy for those who will not obey the law.
1). Deuteronomy 28:15 "But is shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:"
b. Again, this is a specific rebuke to the nation of Israel in Covenant relationship with God for their disobedience in respect to the tithe. This is not to the Church, the body of Christ. The church does not have to keep the law. Granted, there are many moral elements of the law that were transferred to the New Covenant. For instance, the Ten Commandments were all incorporated into the New Covenant, except the command to keep the Sabbath.
c. In the New Covenant we who are in Christ are redeemed from the curse.
1). Galatians 3:13, 14 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
a. This is a specific Covenant promise to Israel that if they were obedient in their tithing.
b. We who are in Christ have been given many more promised blessings under the New Covenant.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
1."And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes"
a. This is one of the promised blessings to Israel for their obedience in tithing. Under the old Covenant the Jews did not have the authority to rebuke the devil.
1). Matthew 9:32, 33 "As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
2). Matthew 8:27 "But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"
3). Matthew 9:8 "But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men."
b. In the New Covenant we do.
1). Ephesians 1:19-22 "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."
2). Under the New Covenant in Christ, I have the authority to rebuke the devil. Why would I rely on an Old Covenant promise when I have so much more authority in Christ.
3). There are more than a few elements of Malachi 3:8-10 that conflict with the elements of the New Covenant.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.