“Test me in this,” says Yahweh of hosts, “and see if I will not open to you the crevices of the heavens intil you have not enough storage.” (Malachi 3:10. My own translation) The premise for faith here is not only the Four Letters of the covenant keeping God (see premise #10), but the added force of the backing of His angelic hosts, and the verbal challenge of God’s presentation. The force is almost irresistible to the man or woman seeking the blessing of God on their lives.
The challenge of faith is that it is based on things invisible, yet, often, what we seek must be seen in the present visible cosmos in which we exist. Provision, be it food, money, access to a place or business or journey is a visible manifestation of the invisible God in our lives. Healing is the same. God’s challenge is to say, quite bluntly, “Test me in this.” The integrity, character and veracity of God and His word is placed on the table to the Christian in need. God is saying, see how dependable and rock certain I am. See how true I am when I speak. Test me! If this isn’t a premise for a practical all round faith, I don’t know what is.
In this particular instance God is discussing money through the prophet Malachi. But the principle of the challenge covers every promise in the scripture. The principle of tithing is not a thing of the Mosaic law, even though Moses did write a whole load of stuff about tithing. Tithe means a tenth. Abraham tithed long before Moses had written about it proving it is not an issue of the law per se. But the people in Malachi’s day were suffering financially, and had neglected to tithe at all.
Malachi gives them a firm premise to believe and revive their practice of tithing. YHWH the covenant God who has promised to bless those that give, and with the extra assurance that He is Yahweh of the angel hosts, is virtually saying, “You know where I stand on this issue. You know I have promised to bless those who by tithing a demonstrating their dependence on me to give them increase. Test me now and see whether I will perform my promise.
It is a necessity for healthy faith and an even healthier understanding of the character of God to read “Test me now,” as a suffix to every promise God makes in the Bible.
“Be giving in nature, and it will be being given to you, your measure having been squeezed and having been shaken, and having been over-poured, they shall be giving into your bosom to the same measure that you measured.” (Luke 6:38. My own translation). This is Yahweh of hosts in human form speaking.
The promise is a law of the cosmos. The commitment of God is to honour His word. Nobody twisted God’s arm to make such a statement. Nobody placed the Almighty under duress and forced Him to make such a statement. Of His own divine pleasure and will, He stated a fact that is part of the law of His physical and moral government of the entire universe. “Give. Then it shall be given to you.”
It is the same principle as when in Proverbs it states, “He that would have friends, must first show himself friendly.” The giving comes first. If in the great providence of God a person is given to before they have given, then the blessing must be seen as an incentive to walk boldly onto the plank of giving. Jesus said “It is better to give than to receive.” It was so precious a remark that even though it wasn’t recorded in the gospels Paul had obviously heard it spoken by those that knew Him in the days of His flesh.
The giving should ideally be an initiative, not a reaction. Giving is in the very nature of God. He is a giver. It is His nature to give over and beyond what is normal. God is extravagant in His giving. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.
God is able and extremely willing to make all grace overflow to us; that we, while always having complete sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work and deed for God. That sentiment of fact is enshrined in 2 Corinthians 9:8. Giving as a result of the blessings of God is what makes the world prosper. Christ encouraged us to give with pure motives. The purer the motive, the greater the return of blessing is. Pure motives does not mean that we cannot look for God’s blessing. Giving must be done in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Anyone who comes to God through the medium of their giving must believe that He is what He says He is and is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. It is the diligently seeking after Him that is a major issue. He is a rewarded of those that diligently seek Him, and so He Himself validates the expectation of the reward. That expectation is not necessarily a blight on the purity of the motive of the giver. God simply loves a hilarious giver.