DEVOTION:Has God Abandoned You?
Has God abandoned you? This is a strange question to ask anyone. Even though this question is not stated in these very words in the passage, it is definitely implied. The verse reads:
Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:7
The first part of this verse tells us the children of Israel had for a long time turned away from the decrees of God and did not obey them. After stating this fact, the Lord makes this appeal to them:
“Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:7b
If the Lord is appealing for Israel to return to Him so that He can return to them, then, it means He has already abandoned them because they have walked away from Him. And the only way He can come back to them is if they return to Him. However, Israel couldn’t understand how to return to God.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ Malachi 3:7c
Then He explains to them how they can return to Him by raising another question.
Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. Malachi 3:8a
This question begs another question from the Israelites:
But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ Malachi 3:8b
And the answer is:
In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8b
It is very clear that God abandoned the Israelites because they robbed His tithes. Imagine that! Failure to give God His tithes causes Him to abandon us. This is a clear demonstration of how God takes this thing seriously.
1. Are you faithfully giving your tithes to God? But wait a minute! I believe this question should be stated differently according to our passage. It should be: Are you giving to the Lord His tithes?
2. Notice what He says if you are not giving to Him. You are stealing from God. And if you are stealing from God, then you are a thief. And if so, how can you dare steal from God?
3. When you give your offering to God, once it enters into the basket or whatever is used to collect the offering in your church, it immediately changes ownership and its value. For it changes from being yours to becoming God’s property and therefore Holy. But did you know that tithe belongs to the Lord whether you give them or not? Read the following passage carefully.
Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. ”These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. Leviticus 27:30-34
4. If you do not give, then, you are keeping that which does not belong to you. It is God’s property. He has not ask you to keep it for Him. In fact, He does not need your help.
5. What else have you learned from today’s devotion?
Return to me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord Almighty.
Do this if your answer is yes to the following question:
HAS GOD ABANDONED YOU?
-By Pastor Shadrack Ruto