Out of Context: Malachi 3:8 Will a Man Rob God

In our series of Out of Context topics, we will talk about the misappropriation of Scriptures used to either garner control or gain material wealth from congregations. Scripture teaches clearly that the Word was not to be used in this fashion, and yet with humanity involved, it seems almost inevitable, past, present, and future.

Today’s topic is Malachi 3:8, often used incorrectly by pastors to collect more money in Tithes plate. When this Scripture is pulled out, generally some bills are due, someone stopped giving offerings (in Churches that track your giving carefully) or they just want more.

 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld].” – Malachi 3:8, AMP

For reference, please see our article on Is Tithing for New Testament Christians and also Merchandising the Flock for a more in-depth study on Tithing.

First and foremost, this is generally used as a scare tactic and carries with it the whipping stick of a pay or be cursed (pay to play) message. God did not come to give us a spirit of Fear, yet bad pastors attempt to create that fear in order to control your wallet, and that should be sign #1 that this is being used out of context.

Secondly, this creates two types of Christians. One type feels like a bad Christian because apparently, they don’t and never can give enough, which hinders faith based on material wealth. Wealth and faith should never be enjoined.

The other type of Christian in this circumstance is broke and confused, they probably gave all they had, and their own personal storehouse isn’t filling up, only the churches, which hinders faith and causes them to believe they are not good enough for God to bless.

“For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.” – I Timothy 6:10, AMP

The Context of Malachi 3

Most importantly, and it may well be enough said, is that this book and chapter was written to the Israelite nation, under the covenant of the Law of Moses.

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. – Malachi 1:1

As equally important to understand, is that the majority of Malachi was to the Priesthood.

And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. – Malachi 2:1

Malachi 1:6-14 was focused on the pollution of the Priesthood and Judah. Then, in Malachi 2:17 and entering into Malachi 3:1, a dialogue began between God, Israel & the Priesthood, focusing on the spiritual application of adultery between a man and his wife as that relationship is intrinsic to the link between God and His people.

Malachi 3:1 begins a prophetic message about the coming of the Lord and more importantly how the nation of Israel will be restored as the Lord comes to the temple and to the people of the covenant. Clearly, the Jewish nation.

Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. – Malachi 3:4

From this, we can easily see, that the dialogue that begins in Malachi was to the Israelite nation, and it was speaking to a future time when Jesus comes to reestablish His throne in the temple.

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.  – Malachi 3:6

Who are the sons of Jacob but the Hebrew nation? Are we sure this passage talks to a nation of people? Let’s skip verse 8 for a moment and look at verse 9.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. – Malachi 3:9

We have seen this in Scripture time and time again, where God has allowed things to befall the nation of Israel for their stubbornness. As a matter of fact, bouncing back to verse 7 highlights this.

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? – Malachi 3:7

Thus, the context of Malachi 3:8 was to the Priesthood of Israel.

Furthermore, as illustrated at the end of Malachi 3, this was still being spoken prophetically (future tense) between God, his messenger Jesus and His nation about the end times.

Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. – Malachi 3:16-18 KJV

Clearly verse 18 is a direct reference to the final judgment of Christ. So it is and should be clear to see that this was in direct reference to the restored Israelite nation, AFTER the Gentile Bride is taken from among the earth.

To apply this demand of Tithing and Offering (covenant law) using Malachi 3:8 is wildly out of context and I urge pastors and teachers to stop using this scare tactic upon your flock! Offerings are still valid, important, yet Paul taught a more perfect message as to God’s will on financial giving to ministerial efforts.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – II Corinthians 9:7, KJV

Let us flee from using God’s Word as if it was ours to do with as we see fit, and use it for the purpose He gave it for – to bring tidings of Good News and to understand what is that perfect will of God!

God Bless and please leave comments about what you think on this topic. We hope to hear from you.

6 thoughts on “Out of Context: Malachi 3:8 Will a Man Rob God

  1. A. Amos Love

    Rightly Divide the Word

    Yes – Much agreement…
    “As equally important to understand, is that
    the majority of Malachi was to the Priesthood.

    And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. – Malachi 2:1

    After I left “Today’s Abusive Religious System” that taught, manipulated, “Tithing.”
    And wanting to understand – This “Robbing God” stuff…
    This “Tithe” in Malachi…

    I would read ALL of Malachi… Over and over, again and again…
    Then, one day, I see it… 🙂

    It’s the priests, the sons of levi, who are under the curse…
    For sacrificing to God, blind and lamb animals…
    NOT me… 😉

    Mal 1:6-8
    6 …O priests, that despise my name.
    And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
    7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say,
    Wherein have we polluted thee?…
    8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?
    and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?
    offer it now unto thy governor; (God is funny. )
    will he be pleased with thee,

    or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts…

    Then God, (God is funny.) tells the priests…
    I, God, will send a curse, and curse your (priests) blessings…
    “ If ye (priests.) will NOT hear…”

    God, seems to be giving the priests a chance to change their ways…
    BUT, in mid sentance God, says, (Nope… changed my mind.) 😉
    “yea, I have cursed them already, because ye (priests) do NOT lay it to heart.”

    Malachi 2:1-2
    And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
    If ye (priests) will NOT hear,
    and if ye (priests) will NOT lay it to heart,
    to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts,
    I will even send a curse upon you, (priests)
    and I will curse your blessings: (priests)
    ****yea, I have cursed them already,****

    because ye (priests) do not lay it to heart.

    And I’m-a-thinkn, this curse in Mal 2:2, is the same curse in Mal 3:8-10.

    Mal 3:8-10.
    Will a man rob God? Yet ye (priests) have robbed me.
    But ye (priests) say, Wherein have we (priests) robbed thee?
    In tithes and offerings.
    Ye (priests) are cursed with a curse:
    for ye (priests) have robbed me,
    even this whole nation.
    (Ye, priests, NOT only robbed me, God.)
    (Ye priests, have even robbed this whole nation.)
    (God, could NOT bless Isreal because the priests, sons of levi, messed up.)
    (Malachi 3:2-4.)
    10 Bring ye (priests) all the tithes into the storehouse,

    that there may be meat (Food) in mine house,

    And, for Isreal…
    The “Tithe” was NEVER, Silver, Gold, or Money.

    It was Food to be eaten or sacrificed to God.

    Yes… Good stuff…

    “Malachi 3:8, often used incorrectly by pastors
    to collect more money in Tithes plate.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My comment isn’t going to be as long as the one above. All I want to say is “amen.” As a pastor I rarely touch on the subject of money, but when I do I never push the tithe. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it, but John MacArthur preached on the subject of tithing and handily destroyed the idea. Most of the time the teaching of the tithe is a legalistic way to guilt believers into giving. How much better would it be if Christians would give based on a heart thankful for God’s mercy and grace? That’s what I want to see! If that were to happen we wouldn’t have many financial needs.

    Oh, and by the way, I receive a salary as pastor, but what I receive has nothing to do with how much money is collected in the offering. Those whose income is relational to the offering are more likely to abuse the tithe teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anthony Baker. And I’m a follower of your blog too! After leaving a HARDCORE legalist church (member for 15 years) I’m heard Malachi 3.8 shouted endlessly. Glad to here more out there can use Godly sense and wisdom on this topic.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Video Version: Out of Context: Will a Man Rob God? – Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth

  4. Pingback: Video Version: Is Tithing required in the New Testament? – Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s