Are We Robbing God If We Don’t Tithe?

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In most cases when someone asks, “Am I robbing God if I don’t tithe?” their question comes out of Malachi 3:8–10:  

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

The prophet Malachi wrote those ancient words during a time of great hardship in Israel, when God’s people were literally putting themselves into bondage just to survive (Neh. 5:1–5).

Overwhelmed by painful circumstances, the people allowed a “logical mind” to take over and they began to reason, “How can we give offerings and tithes to God when we’re under such duress?” So they stopped giving those tithes.  

That decision had a direct effect on the poor, who were left with nothing. They had no way to satisfy their hunger, and that made God angry.

Looking at the Bigger Picture

To answer the question of tithes and robbing God, we need to allow this Old Testament passage to tutor us, like the apostle Paul talked about (Gal. 3:24). The fact that it says “tithes and offerings” is very telling to me. God wanted the kingdom economy to turn; He wanted the finances in the hands of His people to be released to the poor.

“Test Me now in this,” He said. If Israel gave the whole tithe, He would open the windows of heaven and pour out for them an overflowing blessing—in a time when the people were desperate.   

For Christians today, I believe the specific law of the tithe is ended because Jesus solved the law. If a church leader or another Christian you’re following uses the word tithe, they’re probably blending the biblical language of tithe, tenth, and offering and putting them together for the sake of convenience.

The tithe law might not apply to the Christian—but the principle of giving, even in difficult times, does apply.  

According to Malachi 3:8–10, it is possible to rob God if we do not give in faith to help the poor. This is a fundamental truth in the faith and culture of a healthy Christian mind and community.

God the Deliverer

Being generous in times of hardship is a challenge. Whenever we find ourselves in a difficult time financially, we need to remember a very important truth: God is a deliverer by definition. We will pass through this season.

Your time is coming. You will get through this hardship, and when you do, God will increase you because He has found you faithful. 

But today while the storm still rages, bring your offerings, honor God, and help those who need it.

The Book of Remembrance

Just a few verses later in Malachi 3, we find a picture spilling over with hope: 

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. (Mal. 3:16)

The Lord will remember those who are faithful and don’t complain. Giving makes us better, generous people, and it is our desire to honor Him—to find ourselves in His book of remembrance.  

Be a giver, even if all you can give is the widow’s mite. Consider the verses we looked at today and let them mold your generosity and affect your wallet.  

God bless your Prosperous Soul, and may your day be increased.

  

Click the links below to read other articles by Stephen on this topic:

Should You Tithe to Your Church?

Why Christians Struggle with the Tithe and What to Do About It

Do I Need to Give Less Money Away?

Lauren Stinton