Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Know What You Believe


Malachi 3.6-15

More Resources On Giving


[Tithes and offerings are an often neglected yet important subject for God’s people in our day.  The way you give, the why you give, the what you give, and the how you give are all reflections of your spiritual maturity and are the direct result of your relationship with God.  The Bible clearly reveals God’s expectations concerning giving and its promised results both in the Old and New Testaments.]

In our text we discover: 

A.     The Command to Give (vs 6-9) [– For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7 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? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. – Many have argued that tithing is an Old Testament principle that does not apply to our New Testament Church.  Yet, in our study today we will look at both the Old and New Testaments and in the end will discover that the principle is clearly revealed in the Old Testament, and clearly and undeniably supported in the New Testament.  We will also discover through this study that ones tithes and offerings are serious business with God, and should not be taken lightly by any Christian.] 

[In our text today we discover that God’s people, in Malachi’s era, the Jews or Israel were clearly living outside of God’s will and blessings.  They were still a people, they were still living their lives, they were still supporting their families, but they were a nation and people who were far from God.  God sent Malachi to testify against Israel so that they might find their way back to God.  God wanted the people of Israel to repent and reestablish a right relationship with their God.] 

[We find similar circumstances in our culture today.  People have fallen away from God.  Whole religious systems have been rejected as empty and hollow, and people are looking for something spiritual and real.  What has happened?  Churches and denominations have stopped preaching the whole counsel of God and people no longer know how to have a right relationship with God.  Yet, God’s Word is the same today as it has always been.  If people will be right with God then they will have to be obedient to God.  If people will be obedient to God then they will need to know what God expects and requires of them. If people will know what God expects and requires of them then they must get into God’s Word and get into Churches that preach and teach God’s Word.] 

[Notice, in our text, God says:] 

[7 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?] 

[Obedience or Honor – The goal of this passage is not mere obedience in tithes and offerings, but the goal is to reveal the greater problem of which the lack of giving is a symptom.  One’s willingness to give and to give for the right reasons is a sure indication of their spiritual maturity or their relationship with God.  People who don’t give their tithes and offerings are people who don’t recognize that their obedience is a reflection of their devotion and commitment to the Lord God.  Jesus said,] 

[John 14:15 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.]

[Hence, a failure in giving evidences a failure in surrender and submission. One cannot say they are yielded to God if they are not yielded in every aspect of their personal life.  Covetousness and greed is merely to most evident symptom of a broken relationship with one’s Heavenly Father.]

[Notice what else God says through Malachi,] 

[8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.] 

[Great Denials - Consider that God tells them that they have literally robbed God.  The people’s response is very much as the response of many in our day.  They said, “Robbed God!?  How have we robbed God!?  But notice that at the end of verse 7 they first ask, . . .Wherein shall we return?  There is a great denial that marks those who have broken their relationship with God.  God says, in so many words, “If you want to be near me and be my people again then just return unto me.”  They say, “Return, how do we need to return?”  The thought here is, “We are God’s chosen nation, we are special, God’s temple is right here, we have been blessed.  Obviously we are God’s people.”  But the prophet is saying, “You are far from God!”  God is saying, “I want you to be my people.  Will you be my people?”] 

[The same is much of what is happening in our day.  God says, “I want you to be my people.  Will you be my people?”  And people are responding, “We already are God’s people.  What are you talking about?”  So God says, “Then why have you robbed me in your tithes and offerings?”  Here God clearly, through this text, points out their problem and denial.  God does not need your money, but your failure to honor God with your money is a manifest symptom of your far greater spiritual problem.] 

[Hence as we look at tithes and offerings consider,] 

1.      The Priority of the Tithe (vs 8, Lev 27.30-34; Deut 14.22-23; 26.12-13; Exodus 22.28; Duet 26.1-12; Mal 1.7-14; Num 18.20-24) [-Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. - The tithe belongs to God and ought to be given faithfully to God.  If you hold the proper regard for God, then you will be obedient to Him.  Christian’s ought to honor God by honoring who He is through their giving.] 

[Leviticus 27:30-34 30 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. 31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 32 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. 33 He shall not search whether it be good or 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. 34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.]

[What people really need to understand is that the tithe does not belong to them.  God has clearly and unequivocally said, it belongs to God.  It belongs to the Lord.  The truth is that everything we have and are belongs to God.  All creation is under God’s ownership.  But, God in His grace and goodness has decided that only the first ten percent must be returned to Him for His kingdom work.]

[Notice what the Old Testament clearly records about the tithe,]

a.       [The tenth part (Lev 27.32)] 

Leviticus 27:32 32 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.

b.      [The Tenth of all your increase (Deut 14.22-23; 26.12-13)] 

Deuteronomy 14:22-23 22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 23 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.

Deuteronomy 26:12-13 12 When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; 13 Then thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them:

c.       [Give the best, the first (Exodus 22.29; Duet 26.1-2,10; Mal 1.7-14) The first of the ten is God’s.] 

[Exodus 22:29 29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.]

[Deuteronomy 26:1-12 1 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein; 2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there. . . . 10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:]

[Malachi 1:7-14 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 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; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.]

d.      [Given for the service of the Lord (Num 18.20-24) – The tithe is designated for those who perform the service of the Lord.  Christians need to understand that tithes were not meant to build buildings and temples.  It was meant by God to provide for and support those who perform God’s ministry and their families.] 

[Numbers 18:20-24 20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. 21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. 24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

2.      The Promotion of the Tithe (Matt 23.23; cf. Luke 11.42) [– For those who would try to argue that tithes were an Old Testament principle that no longer applies in the New Testament.  Our Lord Jesus Christ supported the tithe, and the Tithe is a New Testament principle.]  

[Matthew 23:23 23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. ]

[Luke 11:42 42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. ]

[Jesus clearly said that the tithes ought to have been given, but He also stressed that there ought to have been the kind heart and motivation that accompanies a properly given tithe.  Giving your tithes and offerings out of a mere sense of duty misses the whole point of giving in the first place.  We give back to God because we recognize the blessedness and goodness of all that God has given us and we desire to honor God for His great benevolence.]

[The Curse (vs 9) - Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. – What most none tithing Christians fail to realize is what their failure to give results in.  God says clearly, you are cursed.  God says, “Your health is cursed.  Your prosperity is cursed.  Your labors are cursed. Your thoughts are cursed.”  Why?  Because you dishonor God by failing to recognize His provision in your life.]

B.     The Challenge in Giving [– But God did not stop with the revelation of the curse that resulted from the lack of giving on the part of the people.  God also provided a cure for the peoples curse.  It is important to note here that God was not the cause of the curse; the people and their blindness to the condition of their heart were the cause of the curse.  But God is faithful to provide the cure for the curse with an incredible promise.] 

1.      The Promise Surrounding Giving (Mal 3.10; Luke 6.38) [– 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. – God says, “. . . Prove me now . . .”Our God truly is the God of forgiveness and grace.  God did not have to provide the bountiful blessing He promised for repentance.  God did not even have to provide the warning.  But God really does love us and wishes the best for us.  So, God graciously leads us to the cure for our sinful condition.  God promises that for the repentance and return of the people he will pour incredible blessings upon the people.] 

[How will God provide these blessings? 

[Luke 6:38 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.]

[The Increased Bounty – God promises that our faithfulness in giving will result in such bounty that you won’t even have enough room to receive all God will provide.  Someone might say,  “Well, pastor I tried giving to the Lord and I didn’t receive this promised bounty?  So, I stopped giving.”  What was your problem?

a.       [Your attitude was wrong -  You didn’t give because you wanted to honor God, you gave only to give.] 

b.      [Your actual giving was wrong – If your attitude was wrong then it is likely that your actual giving was wrong as well.  Multitudes give a nickel and call it a tithe while it is far from the ten percent that represents a tithe.]

[Remember tithing is far more about honoring God than it is about anything else.] 

2.      The Product Of Giving (vs 11-12; Psalm 1.1-3) [ - 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. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. – Here is what God promises to do for you if you faithfully give your tithes and offerings to God.] 

a.       [An abounding harvest (vs 11) - 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. – This means that God will cause your labors to prosper.  God says it this way,] 

[Psalms 1:1-3 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.]

[There are those who come to Church, put their dollar in the offering plate, go home and sit in the Lazy Boy chair, and say okay God give it to me.  Nowhere in the Bible does God say he will bless slothfulness.  As a matter of Scripture God says,] 

[2 Thessalonians 3:10 . . .  that if any would not work, neither should he eat.]

[The people Malachi spoke to knew what he was saying.  God was saying, honor God in your giving and God will give you the ability to work and prosperity from your work.] 

b.      [A rewarding reputation (vs 12) - And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. – Consider this carefully, God does not say the nations will like you, but they will have to recognize that God has indeed blessed you.  As a matter of fact many will hate those whom God prospers.] 

[Consider America’s prosperity and wealth.  It is the result of America’s history.  From its founding through much of its history America was a nation that sought to honor God.  But things are changing in America today.  Why?  Because Americans have forgotten who has given them the ability to work, who has prospered their work, and who has built our reputation.] 

[Illustration - Dr. Hugh McKean of Chiengmai, Thailand, tells of a church of four hundred members where every member tithes. They receive a weekly wage of forty stangs (less than twenty cents] and their rice. Of this meager existence, each gives a tenth every week. Because of this, they have done more for Christ in Thailand than any other church. They pay their own preacher and have sent two missionary families to spread the gospel in a community cut off from the outside world. They are intensely interested in all forms of Christian work, especially work for unfortunates of every kind; and their gifts for this kind of work are large. They have not only accepted Christ, but, having found Him good, they are making Him known to others. Oh, by the way, this church of all tithers is also a church of all lepers--every person has leprosy.] 

3.      The Presumption of the proud (Mal 3.13-15) [– Consider the presumption of hardhearted people. They refuse to hear and heed God because they have callused themselves against God.] 

a.       [They have Hard Hearts (vs 13) - Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?] 

(1)   [Stout – This stoutness speaks of a hardness toward God.  It is much as a callus that has grown over skin that has been continuously pricked.] 

[Those who continuously fail to recognize their spiritual condition will be come stout toward God.  They will have a hard time acknowledging their true condition.  Notice the question God says they ask, What have we spoken so much against thee? – There are many in our world who refuse to hear God because they have hardened themselves against God.  They have developed understandings that fly in the face of God’s Word and have even developed a level of comfort in their misguided beliefs because they have hardened themselves against God and His revealing, never changing word.] 

b.      [They Have Worthless Worship (vs 14; Hag 1.4-6) - Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? – They will say things like, “Well, God didn’t keep His promises towards me?”] 

[Notice the phrase, . . . we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  What these hard hearted people do is they develop a substitute for their failed obedience toward God.  They will say, “Well, I went to church regularly, and even served in Church.  But what has God done for me?”  If you have substituted anything in the place of what God has commanded you to do then you have a worthless worship that is permeated with vain opinions. 

[Haggai 1:4-6 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. ]

[Get this right.  If you will honor God then you must love God and obey God.  There are no substitutes for obedience to God and His Word.] 

c.       [They Have A Sorry Society (vs 15) - And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  What is God saying here?  He says that the end of such a society will be a society that calls wrong right and right wrong.  Now consider where our country is going and ask yourself, “Are you contributing to the cancer that plagues our country, or are you contributing to the cure?” 

[Illustration - A church member was having trouble with the concept of tithing. One day he revealed his doubts to his minister: "Pastor, I just don't see how I can give 10 percent of my income to the church when I can't even keep on top of our bills."]  

[The pastor replied, "John, if I promise to make up the difference in your bills if you should fall short, do you think you could try tithing for just one month?"] 

[After a moment's pause, John responded, "Sure, if you promise to make up any shortage, I guess I could try tithing for one month."] 

["Now, what do you think of that," mused the pastor. "You say you'd be willing to put your trust in a mere man like myself' who possesses so little materially, but you couldn't trust your Heavenly Father who owns the whole universe!" The next Sunday, John gave his tithe, and has been doing so faithfully ever since.] 

C.     The Countenance Of Giving (2 Cor 9.7) [- It is of the utmost importance that we catch the true heart of this passage and message on giving.  Giving is a matter of the heart, not the will.  If you honor God and love God, then you will want to obey God and please God.  This is best expressed in,]  

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

1.      The Heart of Giving (2 Cor 9.7) [– Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – this deals with your attitude when you give.] 

[He gives nothing but worthless gold
Who gives from a sense of duty.
James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

2.      The Honor in Giving [- Give your best – Give as though you are giving to a dignitary, for God is the ultimate dignitary, He is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.] 

[Illustration - There was a knock on the door of the hut occupied by a missionary in Africa. Answering, the missionary found one of the native boys holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, "Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here--I've brought you my tithe." As the missionary gratefully took the fish, he questioned the young lad. "If this is your tithe, where are the other nine fish?" At this, the boy beamed and said, "Oh, they're still back in the river. I'm going back to catch them now.]




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