Study 12 MALACHI: A CHALLENGE TO PROVE GOD
STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS
by Francis Dixon
(Key-verse: Malachi 3:10)
Our key-verse, which is a tremendous challenge to prove God, tells us that God wants to throw open the floodgates of heaven and shower upon us a blessing which is so abundant that we shall be overwhelmed by it. God is longing to send a revival of spiritual blessings. The question must be asked, Why doesn’t He do so?; the answer is because the key that opens these floodgates is in our hands, and through our sin, disobedience and spiritual complacency, we do not turn the key that will enable this to happen. Notice the following:-
1. THE REQUIREMENT THAT GOD INDICATES
What must we do to open these floodgates? Verse 10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” That is God’s requirement. Does it mean that we should give a tenth to God? It surely means that, but much more. It involves us making a full surrender of ourselves to the Lord and giving Him His rightful place in our lives. This was the very thing that the people in Malachi’s day had not done, as verses 7-9 tell us. God requires that we give our all to Him – “Bring the whole tithe…” This includes:-
- 1. Giving ourselves unreservedly to Him (Romans 12:1).
- 2. Giving our substance to Him – our money, home, car, all we possess.
- 3. Giving our time to Him – making no divisions between sacred and secular, but using it all for the glory of God.
- 4. Giving our children to Him – asking Him to plan their lives.
- 5. Giving our talents, our abilities, our gifts to Him.
To bring the whole tithe into the storehouse means to make a full, unconditional, unreserved and complete dedication of ourselves and all that we possess to the Lord. It means, in New Testament terms – Matthew 6:33; Romans 6:11.
2. THE REASON THAT GOD GIVES
Why does God ask us to bring the whole tithe into His storehouse? In order that “there may be food in my house…” What an amazing thought! God is hungry, He is in need, and He is asking for something! What is it that God longs for as He looks at His children – as He looks at you and me?
- 1. He is hungry for our love (John 21:15-17).
- 2. He is hungry for our fellowship (Mark 3:14; and Revelation 3:20), and in each case notice the significance of the little word “with”.
- 3. He is hungry to share His secrets with us – see what God says concerning Abraham in Genesis 18:17.
- 4. He is hungry to have our help and co-operation – compare Matthew 9:38 with 2 Corinthians 6:1.
- 5. He is hungry to see His image in us – look up Romans 8:28-29.
If we will bring the whole tithe into the storehouse there will be meat in God’s house. If we will give our all in full surrender, God’s hunger will be satisfied.
3. THE REQUEST THAT GOD MAKES
It is, “Test me in this.” What a staggering thing it is that God condescends to promise not only to bless us but to allow us to put Him to the test! It is as though He says to us, ‘You just do what I require and ask of you, and see what the mighty result will be!’ Well, what will be the result if we test God and bring the whole tithe into the storehouse? All through the Bible God tells us of the blessings that He is ready to give His children when they obey His commands.
4. THE RESULT THAT GOD PROMISES
This will be – opening of the floodgates, and so much blessing that there will not be room to receive it all. But are we willing to put God to the test and prove Him? Face up to the following:-
- 1. Give Him your life and see what He will do with it. Read Romans 12:1 again. Think what He did with the life of Saul of Tarsus when it was fully surrendered to Him; think what He did with the lives of Moody, Livingstone and C. T. Studd.
- 2. Give Him all that you possess and see how He will bless and use it. Many Christian people can testify to the way God has multiplied their gifts that have been wholly surrendered to Him, like the loaves and fish in John 6:9-14.
- 3. Give Him your time and see how God will bless it. Money may be short but you have time to pray and to work, and how pray-ers and workers are needed!
- 4. Give Him your children and see Him fulfil His great purpose for them and through them. Maybe He will call them to be missionaries, and what greater honour can He give than to call that parent’s child to be His ambassador!
- 5. Give Him your talents and see how God will use them.
Can you imagine a church filled with people, filled with blessing, with frequent conversions and with young people hearing the call to missionary service, and with the love of the Lord Jesus filling every heart?…that would be revival. Would you like your church to be like that? Here is the secret – Malachi 3:10!