“We tried tithing and it didn’t work,” he said. He was living off an insurance settlement and his wife was living off a disability check. They were not meeting their obligations and could hardly feed their family. Instead of finding God’s system to work for them, they put their faith in Uncle Sam’s free food, housing assistance, subsidized medical care, and a monthly check for their health conditions.
Is God running a lottery?
My wife and I have tithed and given offerings even when we had only $20 to support our family of five for one week. He provided food and resources for us through impossible circumstances. Over time, we have proved Him faithful to His promises, even though it was not always easy.
Some people think they will get rich quick if they give their tithes and offerings because the scripture says, “Bring ye all the tithes…, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
Many people cast their bets on Sunday morning, hoping to profit from their investment. God would not ask us to gamble our money. Neither do “seed offerings” multiply a thousand times over to make you wealthier than your wildest dreams.
Money is not always a blessing
First, before we talk about what this verse really means, we have to admit that God wants to bless us in many more ways than just money. In fact, money is a curse if you do not put God first in everything.
God pours out blessings of peace, joy, and financial stability. The blessings of giving to God far outweigh any dollar amount we receive in this life. God has blessed our family for our tithing in health, provision, and protection. He has taken our chest freezer from empty to over flowing in one day. Even if He did none of these things, however, I would still tithe and give offerings.
The purpose of tithes is food in God’s House
God said to bring tithes to the local place of worship (not TV or radio ministry) so there could be meat in His house. Those who receive teaching and preaching from dedicated ministers should support them financially (Galatians 6:6; I Timothy 5:17). Your financial support frees up your pastor to fulltime ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4). Therefore, God said, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house” (Malachi 3:8).
What are the “windows of heaven”?
Things go haywire when we misinterpret the Bible. Rather than find out what a biblical expression means, we impose our assumptions on it. We want to think “open windows of heaven” means God will pour down gold coins on us. We can just imagine piles of money in our front yards after we come home from church. However, this viewpoint has destroyed the faith of many who tried tithing and quit when they did not strike it rich. Let’s see what this Bible expression means.
During the time of Noah, God literally opened the “windows of heaven” (Genesis 7:11). This means He poured down rain from the sky. In Malachi’s time, the people needed the windows of the sky opened to water their fields. Because of their sin, God had sent them a drought and their crops were dying.
Malachi told them to stop making God’s ministers live in poverty and start bringing their tithes and offerings again, God would pour out a blessing of rain on them. This would provide for their needs and turn them some profit, too. Harvesting a crop did not mean they would be wealthy, however.
God blessed what they were already doing
If they had not planted crops, the rain would not have blessed them. They did not sit in their tents waiting for money from the sky. They kept doing what they needed to do to provide for their families and God blessed their labors.
This principle still applies today. God will bless our efforts when we tithe. When you bring Him ten percent of your unemployment check, do not expect Him to send a Brinks truck to unload in your front yard. Tithing on unemployment or severance pay means you have faith that He will provide you with another good job. Sometimes God’s promises seem slow in coming, however, we continue to tithe and give offerings so there will be bread in His house and the church can keep the lights on. Anything else is extra.
Other principles apply to get you ahead financially. Depending on government programs does not leave much for God to water. Not that it is a crime to use assistance for short times when necessary. But we should not depend on anyone but God. He blesses what you do, not what you don’t. We must avoid money traps that drain our finances. We must find ways to not live broke all the time by saving, planning, and staying out of debt.
Follow our interactive journal to discover more of God’s promises on tithing.