What is the way God deals with deception? No, He doesn’t strike with lightning bolts. Malachi chapter 3 gives us some insight into how he dealt with the nation of Israel after they cheated and disrespected Him.
Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. Malachi 3:8
This chapter has probably been preached hard ever since the establishment of the church. And why not? The lesson of the tithe has been God’s economy throughout the Old Testament. It was also backed up by Jesus and Paul in the New Testament.
But in taking a closer look at this chapter, it wasn’t just written as a tithing chapter. The people of Israel deceived themselves thinking they were living godly lives that were pleasing to the Lord. But they weren’t!
I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Malachi 3:6-7
They were so deceived that they asked the question, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?
So the Lord told them. First, they had cheated Him. Their response, when did we ever cheat you?
They were so deceived, they didn’t realize that they were cheating God. We find the Lord’s answer in our scripture for today. It was their lack of paying their tithes and giving offerings.
Obedience for Blessing
Unlike the thought that many people have, that God just wants your money, is He wants to bless us. He spells out the benefits involved and challenges us to put Him to the test.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Malachi 3:10
The Lord also accused them of saying terrible things about Him. Their response again was, what do you mean? What have we said against you? Of course, it was an accusation they were guilty of. They had made up their minds that it wasn’t worth serving God.
The two points in this chapter work hand in hand. What we speak comes from our minds and how we cheat is an action. According to God, giving of the tithe and offering will take you out of the deception mode and blessings will be poured out on you in every area of your life.
We Already Know the Way God Deals with Deception
The question at hand is what is the way God deals with deception? That is the wrong question to ask. God deals with all sins the same way. The real question we must ask is how do we keep from trying to deceive the Lord?
The answer is this. We must let our minds and our actions work together in obedience to God’s Word. It starts with honoring God, loving other people, and paying our tithe. If we don’t, the main person we will end up deceiving is our self.
Lord, thank you for the promises that go with this two-point message in Malachi chapter 3. Renew my mind so I don’t fall into deception, honor my tithe and pour out your blessings on me.
You would enjoy reading the cornerstone post on discipleship called How To Be An Effective Devoted Disciple Of Jesus.
Malachi 3 is a great chapter to read.
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