Daily Devotionals

100% Week 3 Monday

“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. Malachi 3:8

Money is a sensitive topic. We don’t often talk about it with friends or even family, if at all. It is something that many of us keep to ourselves, and rightly so in many situations. However, there is someone whom we should always involve when we consider our finances, and that is God. The truth about this is that God is always aware of how we handle our finances, whether we involve Him or not. He teaches in Scripture that everything we have belongs to Him, and He calls us to live generously as a result. 

God confronted the people of Israel head-on in Malachi 3:8 about holding back from Him when it came to tithing. In this chapter, the prophet Malachi came to the Israelites with a message from God. Through the prophet Malachi, God said, “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!” (verse 8a). In light of this accusation, God anticipated the Israelites response which would be, “When did I ever cheat God?!” He responded to their unasked question. “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me (verse 8b). There was proof that the Israelites had robbed God. They had withheld their tithes and offerings from Him. They had not been generous towards Him and not given Him what He called them to give. 

None of us would like to say that we have robbed God. The truth is, however, when we hold back our tithes and offerings from Him, that is exactly what we are doing. He has been generous with us. He has asked that we give back to Him in return. The question is, will we follow His call and give Him what was His all along?

Moving Toward Action

Think about the question asked in Malachi 3:8, “Should people cheat God?” What is your answer to this question? Is anything holding you back from living generously and honoring God with the finances and gifts He has given you? First, be honest about the things that are holding you back. Then, after thinking through what might be holding you back, think of one step you can take to let go of these things holding you back and ask a trusted friend to help hold you accountable as you take that step.

Going Deeper

Malachi 3:1-9 (NLT)

 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.

“At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’

“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!

“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’

“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.