Many Christians are familiar with God’s words in verse 7 of today’s reading: “Return to Me, and I will return to you.” When Malachi delivered this message to Israel, they seemed ignorant of the fact that they had left the Lord. Throughout the book, God made statements about their poor spiritual condition, and they always responded by asking how they had offended Him.
In this passage, God accuses them of robbing Him by withholding the tithes and offerings required by the Law to support the Levites and priests. God viewed their persistent disobedience to His commands as theft because they were keeping for themselves what belonged to Him. If we consider all that the Lord has given us, we must ask ourselves whether we’re robbing Him in any way. Consider these examples:
- God has given us life and determined the number of our days (Psalm 139:16). Yet some of us claim that we don’t have time to read the Bible or pray. We may be busy, but it’s our responsibility to prioritize time with the Lord in the 24 hours He has allotted to us each day.
- Our Father has also given us abilities, talents, and spiritual gifts, yet we oftentimes reserve their use for our career or hobby rather than for serving Him.
- God is the one who has given us the ability to work and earn an income, and all He asks of us is the first portion.
Is there anything of the Lord’s that you’ve been keeping for yourself? With an obedient and grateful heart, you can joyfully give back to Him a fraction of whatever He has given you.
Bible in One Year: Mark 8-9