“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
The prophet Malachi was speaking under the inspiration of God when he told the nation of Israel that they were guilty of robbing God. The people responded to this rebuke with a question, “wherein have we robbed thee?” If they were guilty of robbing God, they wanted to know precisely what they had done. The answer was simple and direct. They had robbed God in the area of their “tithes and offerings.” They were guilty of withholding their tithes and offerings from God. They had taken what belonged to God and used it for themselves. They were thieves.
Many people today would look at tithes and offerings as being given, or withheld, from the church, because it is at the place of worship that they are given. But the tithe, though it is given to and used through the church, belongs to God. Because of their sin, God told them that they were cursed with a curse and that the devourer was thus free to destroy their fruit. God gave them a wonderful promise, if they would repent and be faithful in their giving to Him, He would open “the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
Imagine someone robbing God. Why would anyone want to rob God, especially those who claim salvation and forgiveness of sins through the death of His Son on the cross of Calvary? Have we robbed God? Although the prophet Malachi specifically addressed the problem of disobedience in the matter of tithes and offerings, we could also say that we rob God in other ways. If we do not give God the glory that He deserves, could we not say that we are robbing Him of His glory? God’s creation continually testifies to His glory and honor, and we should also live for His glory. When we live for self, we are robbing Him of the glory He deserves. God is worthy of our constant praise and thanks. We should praise Him for all that He is and all that He has done, and thank Him often for His goodness to us. When we fail to do so, we are robbing Him of the praise and thanks that should be His. God is our Master, and He expects our faithful service. When we are not serving Him, we are guilty of robbing Him of the service that He is due. Perhaps we should ask God as Israel did, “Wherein have we robbed thee?”