4. Three observations about this passage:
a. First, God views the tithe as a very serious obligation, indeed. It is the giving obligation by which His church, His earthly work is to be financed.
1. Most of us would be horrified at being involved in robbery, but we can be insensitive to our robbery of God-a far greater sin.
2. Leviticus 27:30 - The Bible says the tithe is holy. "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 to the Lord."
b. Second, God does not want us giving out of guilt, but because we are so full of gratitude.
1. Grudging giving is not valued by God. 2Corinthians 9:6,7.
"But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."
2. God wants cheerful open-handed givers. We need to examine ourselves. Is our first response to the tithe clutching the money to ourselves or open-handed celebration? What a privilege it is to return 1/10 of the increase God has given us to support His church and ministries. How can we not cheerfully celebrate this support privilege?
c. Third, note the blessing promised by God for our grateful obedience. How often in scripture does God ask you to test Him? When Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness: "You shall not test the Lord your God." But Malachi 3:10 says, "And try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." More on this blessing later.