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What the Bible says about Financial Problems
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Malachi 3:8-10

The people of Malachi's day had let down; their attitude was ho-hum, and they did not realize it.

We belong to God, yet we can, and do, let Him down in many ways. The ministry, like the priesthood, can let down in doctrine and cause great shipwreck to the faith of God's people. We, too, can let down in our offerings: the offering of our lives. We can let down in our marriages by not loving our spouses, or we can let down in not correctly raising our children. God wants a pure heart within us, and He wants us to obey Him in every facet of our lives, not just in tithing. We can let down in study and prayer. We can let down in putting God first. This is short-changing God.

Consider what God did for us. He gave His Son, the finest offering that He could possibly give. Jesus Christ gave Himself - not under constraint, but willingly - for us and for everyone in this world! What should we be giving back? We should be doing our very best to overcome and thus not rob God in the giving of a complete and living sacrifice.

Because of the people letting down, God says, "You are cursed with a curse - even this whole nation!" The response might as well have been, "Well, times are tough!" God could just as easily query, "Well, why do you think times are tough?" He tells them, "It is because you have been cheating Me! Do you not understand that? You have been robbing Me! That is why times are tough! Do not shove Me out of your lives. You are letting down spiritually and physically. That is why you are having tough times. You are cursed with a curse for stealing - the whole nation - cursed!"

How do we turn this around?

Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith," says 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)

Why does God want food in His house? We must go back to the purpose for tithing. What kind of food does He want? He wants spiritual food. He wants spiritual teaching. He wants right teaching in order to perfect the people of God. This is why He wants food in His house.

The operation of God's house must run as He intends to perfect the heart and to change the people. "Prove me, test me, try me," God says, "and I will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing. I will empty it upon you. I will open the sluices of heaven!" This is a figure of speech showing that a great supply of blessings will come.

God is saying, "Bring your tithes with a right heart and attitude and I will open the sluice, or the floodgates, of blessings and pour them out upon you until you cannot receive it all!" The conditions are a right heart and a right attitude. We do not know if these blessings will be spiritual or physical, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the blessings are going to be there!

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Tithing

1 Corinthians 10:11-13

The high-achievers of this world have many of the same run-of-the-mill problems that everybody experiences. Going to the moon did not change the kind of person that Neil Armstrong would have been anywhere: withdrawn and enigmatic, a puzzling person who just wanted to be alone, as he was described.

It is the same with others. Their fame, the fortune, the academic and professional accomplishments have not proved to be an advantage to help them avoid the very kinds of things that trouble us, so all of their accomplishments, their fame, and their money are not the solutions. They have these things, yet they face the same kinds of problems. In most cases, they cannot meet them well. So, having more brains, money, ease, and fame has not insulated them from divorce, withdrawn and alienated children, emotional breakdowns, and health problems.

By "common," used here in verse 13, God means that the problems are nothing exceptional. They are not beyond the powers of endurance. The word translated "taken" or "overtaken" adds to our understanding of the kind of problem. It is written in the perfect tense and indicates a lasting condition—something one has to deal with every day, a chronic problem. It just does not go away.

"Escape" indicates a way out of a defile, a tight spot, as if surrounded. The word "temptation" is one of the more interesting ones in this whole series of verses because, interestingly, it indicates something designed and unavoidable. It suggests a trial that could become a temptation—something that has been designed and is unavoidable rather than being merely a difficult happenstance, such as a "time and chance" occurrence. It is a test such as a teacher would give. One cannot avoid tests when a student in school.

Overall, because God is faithful, it shows that we can successfully meet our difficulties in life, so there is a great deal of assurance here for those whom God has called. It leaves those He has not called out of this assurance. Life is difficult, but being a high-achiever in this world does not guarantee that one will escape difficulty.

The lessons of the Feast of Pentecost have a great deal to do with pointing us in the right direction to enable us to endure and overcome these lasting, chronic problems common to mankind.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Rejoice in What We Are


 




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