Stealing From God
In Malachi 3:8 we read the quote: "Will a man rob God?"
You might think that if God owns everything, how is that even possible?
We need to pay attention to the many ways we can rob God.

As we read the text in the book of Malachi, we see that the robbing has to do with their failure to tithe and make good offerings to the LORD.
The Israelites of yesterday were guilty of robbing from God.
In fact, he says the whole nation was guilty of the theft (vs 9).
To take something without permission is robbery, theft, or stealing.
Failing to provide what was promised is also a form of stealing.

There are several factors we need to consider.
First God owns everything.
We remember the great prayer of David (1 Chronicles 29:10-20) as he turned his kingdom over to Solomon, and provided an offering for the temple that was to be built there in Jerusalem.
David prayed that God had blessed him, and that he was honored to make an offering even though God owned everything.

1 Chronicles 29:10-20
So David blessed the LORD in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are Thou, O LORD God of Israel our Father, forever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion O LORD, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this?
For all things come from Thee, and from Thy hand we have given Thee. For we are sojourners before Thee, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build Thee a house for Thy holy name, it is from Thy hand, and all is Thine.
Since I know, O my God, that Thou triest the heart and delightest in uprightness, I in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Thy people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to Thee. O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Thy people, and direct the heart to Thee;
And give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments, Thy testimonies, and Thy statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision”.
Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God”. And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the LORD and to the king.

While God does own everything in creation, we must realize that God has allowed us the use of these things, so it is our responsibility to handle them wisely, use them in a way that glorifies God, and share them with others as needs arise.
Do you get the idea that we should not be selfish with something that really is not even ours?
Yet as we consider our passage, let us look at other ways to rob God.
This should not be hard to figure out even though you may not want to hear it.

We rob God when we fail to do our duty to Him.
When we do what God tells us not to do or when we fail to do what God has told us to do.
We get so busy with our own agendas, that God's agenda gets left behind or gets a lower priority rating.
We remember in Haggai 1:4, that God told the people they were busy building their own paneled houses, but the house of God laid destitute, barren, and unfinished.

We are taught to pray all the time.
When we fail to pray, we are robbing God of our communication with Him.
We owe God our praise and adoration all the time, and we also owe Him the time of day to speak to Him and ask for His blessings upon ourselves and others.
He wants us to talk to Him.
Jesus and His apostles commanded that we pray to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 “pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God.”

He asks us to cast our cares (burdens) upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
He wants to be a part of our life, and He wants us to allow Him to be a part of our life.

We rob God when we fail to behave as a true Christian should.
God is expecting us to live up to His standards and to be a light around us as an example to show people the truth (Matthew 5:16).
Failure to set a good example will not help people find God whom they might be seeking.
We must live with this in mind that if I do not set a good example, who will?
If I cannot influence someone to God, they may remain lost forever.
That deprives God of another soul that would offer praise to His name.

We rob God when we waste time.
We like to call this my “me-time”.
Now, I truly believe that God gives us time for recreation or relaxation, but we abuse that privilege when we take too much recreation or relaxation time.
Honestly, we know that we spend too much time in front of the TV or computer.
Sure these have their proper use and can be used for good, but they can also be abused.

We rob God when we miss assembling with other Christians.
I’m not talking about sickness, physical infirmities, or having to go to work.
I’m talking about those who simply choose not to go to church and they make up some excuse for not going.
These people are robbing God of the worship He is supposed to receive.
And they are robbing the rest of us of their encouragement and servitude.

While we may go to church we rob God by not participating in the service to God.
This includes singing, praying, learning from God’s messenger, observing the Lord’s Supper with improper attitudes, and not contributing according to your means.
We need to examine ourselves and make sure that we are not depriving God of anything that we owe to Him.
This may require some adjustments to our lifestyle, but if we do, we will receive greater blessings from God.

God has already promised to reward the faithful and to shower us with blessings, and what God will do for us will be in greater measure than we can imagine or deserve (Ephesians 3:20).
If you are stealing from God, please stop.
Your soul rest upon your response to God’s grace.
God wants everything that will lead to His glory.
Do not deprive Him of that.

By Carey Scott

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