Joel 3; Malachi 1-4
We come to the end of the Old Testament today. And Malachi is setting the stage for Jesus’ ministry. He has a lot to say about that but I want to share something from just 3:10.
When my parents were raising five daughters in the 50’s times here tough. My dad was a hard worker but he was not a good businessman. He and mom spent nearly everything they had to buy a bulldozer, backhoe, dump truck and flat bed trailer so Dad could start his own excavating business. He was a ditch digger! He dug footers and basements and leveled land for building sites. He was good at it and he loved the work.
He was not good, however, at pressing people for payments when the money due him didn’t come.
We girls knew there wasn’t a lot of money but we were protected from the extent of it. We didn’t see Mom’s tears as she served the fourth Campbell Soup dinner of the week. We didn’t notice when Mom and Dad skipped a meal. And we never saw the pile of bills that wasn’t getting paid.
Somewhere during that difficult time Mom was convicted about tithing. She argued with God for a while saying, how could she drop a tenth of almost nothing into the plate when her girls didn’t have enough to eat. But God continued to impress on her to be faithful with what she had and, because she was the keeper of the money and the writer of checks in our family, she quietly began to tithe.
Now I know some of you may want to hear about an anonymous check that came in the mail or a rich relative’s fortune being left to us in a will. That didn’t happen but I will tell you what did.
Dad lost his business.
That’s right. Dad had to sell his equipment. But because he had shown himself to be a good worker in the building trades, a man who owned a plumbing company and had an opening at that very moment, offered Dad the chance to work with him and learn the plumbing trade. Dad studied plumbing and found, not only was he good at it – he liked the work, too! And… he didn’t have the pressures that come with being the company owner. And… he got paid every week.. And… he had regular work hours and was able to be at home with us evenings. And… he didn’t work on the weekends.
And… the bills started to get paid. Slowly, Mom was able to write the checks that needed to be written every month. It didn’t happen over night. But it happened to the point that eventually she even opened a savings account!
It wasn’t a dramatic answer to prayer and it didn’t happen like Mom and Dad might have planned. But what did happen was better for Dad and our family. God asked Mom to be faithful with what she had. And God proved he meant what he said when he said:
… see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
We were never rich according to the world’s standards . But we were and are a family rich in blessings from God who is true to his Word. Be faithful with a little and God will be faithful with what he has!
Do you tithe? You need to. And not because you want God to pour out a financial windfall on you. You need to because it demonstrates to you and to God your commitment to him and your trust in him. Do you take God at his Word? Prove it.