Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith 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).
What is a tithe? Webster defines “tithe” as “a tenth part.” Mary Baker Eddy defines “tithe” as a tenth part, but also gives a more spiritual definition: “gratitude.” I would like to look at tithing from a spiritual perspective since God is Spirit. In order to do so, it is necessary to place Malachi in a historical time frame. Many historians believe he lived around the era of Ezra or Nehemiah instead of Zechariah (535 b.c). If this is true, one can safely say he was greatly influenced by the doctrine of The Old Testament. This caused him to be disturbed by the people’s abandonment of the foundational mandates taught by the Isralites: worship, marriage and labor. They were no longer reconstructing the temple using physical labor, no longer marrying within the tribal family, but into paganism, and worshiping material things instead of God. The teachings of the priests were heavily skewed by greed, corruption and sin, causing them to inflict social injustices on the downtrodden. Malachi, which means “angel,” sought to restore moral integrity and justice into personal affairs, but never reached the practice of spirituality over materiality. Conversely, the teachings of Jesus elevated the thinking of mankind to a more spiritual level. He explained and built on the laws of Moses, reached a level of understanding far removed from sensualism, and practiced what He espoused. He talked about God, whom no one could see with the eyes, as being His Father, healed the multitudes through spirituality, never administering drugs, pills or surgery, and forgave the heartless. This is His legacy! We have it to build on it, not retrogress to lowers levels of thinking expressed in The Old Testament.
God’s gifts to man, His “image and likeness,” has nothing to do with matter or materiality. . All that God gives is spiritual. Why would God give that which He neither made nor contains. Mankind’s consciousness must be elevated!
Malachi tells the people to “bring the tithes into the storehouse.” He’s admonishing them to bring a tenth of the gifts of God (love, respect, reverence, faith, spirituality) into their thoughts so that their actions would be divine. Divine consciousness will generate the “meat” which is harmony, compassion and unity. This divine consciousness enables them to connect with God, Spirit, and move beyond a material sense of meat. The ability to connect with God yields infinite blessings–blessings that never cease. These blessings are not defined by money, prestige and human power, but by divine power. Gratitude is the key to receiving the gifts of God. Gratitude to whom? God! It may go something like this:” I am grateful that I express the love of God. I am grateful that God loves me. I am grateful that I can forgive unconditionally. I am grateful that I express all that God is.” When mankind starts his day in such a manner, this gratitude reaches out to all whom he meets. He does not have to brow-beat people into doing things that THEY should do, his efforts are spent doing the things that God made HIM to do, and leave the rest to God. We are only blessed by what we feel from God, not from man.
I heard a person say, “I’m going to give God His 10% of my money so that I can receive my blessings. God does not need money! God is Spirit! He DOES need us to express Him–His spirituality, because He made us in His image. I give to maintain my church’s needs–keeping the electricity on, the building repaired, etc. Going beyond the basics is a man-made goal! A storehouse is not a building, it is a consciousness, and a tithe is not money, it is gratitude! So come on mankind, let’s bring those tithes into the storehouse!