Upon reading the title of this blog post you may be wondering how it is possible to rob God. But the book of Malachi makes it very clear that it is possible to rob God and that we are often guilty of robbing Him. In Malachi 3:8, it is written, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” Israel was robbing God in tithes and offerings. They offered polluted bread upon God’s altar and they offered the blind, the lame, and the sick for sacrifice (Malachi 1:7 – 8).
Now it is true that we are no longer bound by the Sacrificial Law of the Old Testament, but this passage remains as applicable to us as it was to the Old Testament church. When you worship God and only do it half-heartedly you are being just like the Israelites. When you go to church on Sunday and your mind is filled with the things of this week and of the coming week, your mind certainly is not prepared nor ready to worship God. In the congregational singing you rob God when you pay more attention to how your voice sounds and you concentrate more on singing the right notes than on the words. Or when you pray and you close your eyes and fold your hands to make it look like you are praying, but your mind is far away from prayer. That is when you rob God. God has commanded us to worship Him, love Him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. But we often do this with half a heart, sometimes almost considering it a weariness to worship Him. At the same time we will have no problem giving our full attention to work or school, but when it comes to the worship of God we rob Him of our attention. We put idols in the place of God.
For Israel’s sin God promised punishment. Malachi 1:13 – 14 says, “Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! And ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; And ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; Thus ye brought an offering: Should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, And voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: For I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, And my name is dreadful among the heathen.” The Lord pronounced a curse upon those who only served Him half-heartedly and who considered the worship of God a weariness.
But Jehovah also promised a saviour. The messenger of the covenant is promised in the first part of Malachi 3 and “he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Christ came in order that He might purify Israel and cleanse them, so that they could offer unto Jehovah a righteous offering. Is that much different than are salvation? We have been saved in order that we might give thanksgiving unto God. When you go to church tomorrow consider the way you worship Jehovah, and if there is a hardheartedness repent and seek Him more; remembering Malachi 3:6, “I am the LORD, I change not; Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”