Monday, May 13, 2013

Is God a slot machine?

You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Malachi 3:8-10

Like me, you've probably heard this Scripture before. I can't tell you the number of sermons I've heard on this passage right before the pastor initiates a fund drive for a new building or for expansion or new band instruments!  You can always see it coming. 

Yet I've also seen pastors misuse this Scripture by telling people that it's a guarantee that if you tithe your 10% faithfully, God will make you rich!  I've even seen a pastor tell people to stuff a 10, 20, or 100 dollar bill in the offering plate and expect God to return it 100 fold by the end of the year. Like God is some vending or slot machine! How insulting!

I've also known faithful Christians over the years who have given their 10% but who have never become rich. So, is God a liar? What does this Scripture truly mean? 

God does want us to be givers. As Christians, we should look around us at all the needs and try our best to meet them. Our of the abundance God gives us, we should give to others. This is what the early church did and it worked for them so that none of them had a need. Whether you give 10, 20 or 90% of your earnings is between you and God, but you should give as the Holy Spirit leads, and you
should give cheerfully, not EXPECTING anything in return.

I think it's wrong of pastors to use this Scripture as some sort of enticement for people to give. It creates the wrong attitude and motive and makes their giving of no consequence. God doesn't honor giving that isn't from the heart. If you're a parent, you know how very special it is when a child does something for you and doesn't expect anything in return. It makes your heart glow with pride and joy! 

Then why is God so adamant about testing Him on this if he won't follow through. Let's say you have the right attitude and you give faithfully, yet you're not any richer than you were before. 

There are two other places in the Bible where I found that God mentions "windows of heaven",  Both are in Genesis and both refer to rain. So, why would God use this phrase here if He meant money or wealth or possessions?  He could have easily used another phrase or just omitted this one altogether. I believe it's because God is giving us a hint as to the kind of blessing He wants to give us. Rain was a huge blessing to people in Biblical times. Without it, famine ensued and people starved. With it, crops grew and people had abundance. Just like in those times, God wants us to have abundance. Jesus said He came to give us life and life abundant. But what type of abundance is He talking about?

Rain is also a type of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. I believe that God isn't referring to riches in this verse, but instead He's referring to His Spirit, and with His Spirit comes revelation, wisdom, knowledge, self control, kindness, goodness, gentleness... in other words God's Spirit fills us and enables us to then use our God-given gifts to work hard and create the wealth we need to live on. 
You see, it's so much more than simply wealth and riches, it's the ability to make wealth, the knowledge and wisdom and character required. But the key is, you have to receive the Spirit, allow Him to teach you, and then you have to do the work. 

I think that's where most of us fail. We stand there like baby birds with our beaks open, waiting for God to dump goodies in our mouths, when He has already given us the ability to go out and find them for ourselves. God gave rain to the Israelites but they still had to go out and farm the land!.

One thing I've noticed about cheerful givers, they are Cheerful!!  People who aren't stingy and who give and give and give to those around them are the happiest people I know. They don't really want riches. (If they got them, they'd probably give them away!) They don't need riches. They are the richest of all people because God has rained so much of His Holy Spirit down on them, that they are unable to contain all the glory!


  1. Amen.
    I attended a church once where they had some of the elders greeting people as they left the church. They knew who gave and how much, so the way they greeted you depended on your tithing. If you didn't tithe, they would tell you that you must, right there in front of other members. Needless to say, we didn't attend that church for too long.
    And tithing can include not just money, but your time as well. :)

  2. Mon May 13th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Thank-you again, for 'another timely word in due season'. Most appreciated.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  3. Amen!! Thank you, MaryLu. This is so true.

  4. Yes, another good word! :)Thanks MaryLu.

  5. Great post, MaryLu! It is a needed reminder in our day and age with the popularity of all the prosperity gospel preachers!