Bring ye all the tithes - They had so withheld these that the priests had not food enough to support life, and the sacred service was interrupted. See Nehemiah 13:10.
And prove me now herewith - What ye give to God shall never lessen your store. Give as ye should, and see whether I will not so increase your store by opening the windows of heaven - giving you rain and fruitful seasons - that your barns and granaries shall not be able to contain the abundance of your harvests and vintage.
Bring the whole tithes - , not a part only, keeping back more or less, and, as he had said, defrauding God, offering, like Ananias, apart, as if it had been the whole; into the treasury, where they were collected in the time of Hezekiah and again, at this time, by the direction of Nehemiah, “so that there shall be food,” not superfluity, in My house “for those who minister in the house of My sanctuary.” Nehemiah 13:10-23. “The Levites and singers had, before the reformation, fled every one to his field, because the portion of the Levites had not been given them.” On Nehemiah‘s remonstrance, aided by Malachi, “the tithe of corn and the wine and the new oil were brought into the treasuries.”
Bring the whole tithes - o“Thou knowest that all things which come to thee are God‘s, and dost not thou give of His own to the Creator of all? The Lord God needeth not: He asketh not a reward, but reverence: He asketh not anything of thine, to restore to Him. He asketh of thee “first-fruits and tithes.” Niggard, what wouldest thou do, if He took nine parts to Himself, and left thee the tenth? What if He said to thee; ‹Man, thou art Mine, Who made thee; Mine is the land which thou tillest; Mine are the seeds, which thou sowest; Mine are the animals, which thou weariest; Mine are the showers, Mine the winds, Mine the sun‘s heat; and since Mine are all the elements, whereby thou livest, thou who givest only the labor of thine hands, deservest only the tithes.‘ But since Almighty God lovingly feeds us, He gives most ample reward to us who labor little: claiming to Himself the tithes only, He has condoned us all the rest.”
And prove Me now herewith, in or by this thing - God pledges Himself to His creatures, in a way in which they themselves can verify. “If you will obey, I will supply all your needs; if not, I will continue your dearth.” By whatever laws God orders the material creation, He gave them a test, of the completion of which they themselves could judge, of which they themselves must have judged. They had been afflicted with years of want. God promises them years of plenty, on a condition which He names. What would men think now, if anyone had, in God‘s name, promised that such or such a disease, which injured our crops or our cattle, should come at once to an end, if any one of God‘s laws should be kept? We should have been held as finatics, and rightly, for we had no commission of God. God authenticates those by whom He speaks; He promises, who alone can perform.
“There are three keys which God hath reserved in His own hands, and hath not delivered to any to minister or substitute, the keys of life, of rain, and of the resurrection. In the ordering of the rain they look on His great power, no less than in giving life at first, or afterward raising the dead to it; as Paul saith Acts 14:17, “God left not Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave rain, from heaven and fruitful seasons.”
If I will not open the windows of heaven - oIn the time of the flood, they were, as it were, opened, to man‘s destruction: now, God would rain abundantly for you, for their sakes. “And pour you out, literally empty out to you,” give to them fully, holding back nothing. So in the Gospel it is said, that the love of God is “shed abroad poured out and forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.”
“That there is not room enough to receive it; literally until there is no sufficiency.” (In Psalm 72:7 (quoted by Ges. Ros. etc.) “there shall be abundance of peace ירח בלי עד, literally, “until there be no moon,” has a literal meaning, that the peace should last until the end of our creation, without saying anything of what lies beyond.) The text does not express what should not suffice, whether it be on God‘s part or on man‘s. Yet it were too great irony, if understood of God. His superabundance, “above all which we can ask or think,” is a first principle in the conception of God, as the Infinite Source of all being. But to say of God. that He would pour out His blessing, until man could not contain it, is one bliss of eternity, that God‘s gifts will overflow the capacity of His creatures to receive them. The pot of oil poured forth the oil, until, on the prophets saying 2 Kings 4:6, “Bring me yet a vessel,” the widows son said, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.” God‘s gifts are limited only by our capacity to receive them.
It were better not to give at all than to give grudgingly; for if we impart of our means when we have not the spirit to give freely, we mock God. Let us bear in mind that we are dealing with One upon whom we depend for every blessing. One who reads every thought of the heart, every purpose of the mind.—The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900. CS 199.1
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” If we act in the spirit of this counsel, we may invite the Divine One to audit the accounts of our temporal matters. We may feel that we are only giving offerings from that which is our Lord's entrusted gift. CS 199.2Read in context »
The plan of Moses to raise means for the building of the tabernacle was highly successful. No urging was necessary. Nor did he employ any of the devices to which churches in our day so often resort. He made no grand feast. He did not invite the people to scenes of gaiety, dancing, and general amusement; neither did he institute lotteries, nor anything of this profane order, to obtain means to erect the tabernacle for God. The Lord directed Moses to invite the children of Israel to bring their offerings. He was to accept gifts from everyone that gave willingly, from his heart. And the offerings came in so great abundance that Moses bade the people cease bringing, for they had supplied more than could be used. PP 529.1
God has made men His stewards. The property which He has placed in their hands is the means that He has provided for the spread of the gospel. To those who prove themselves faithful stewards He will commit greater trusts. Saith the Lord, “Them that honor Me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30. “God loveth a cheerful giver,” and when His people, with grateful hearts, bring their gifts and offerings to Him, “not grudgingly, or of necessity,” His blessing will attend them, as He has promised. “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. PP 529.2Read in context »
This work of faithfully bringing in all the tithes, that there may be meat in the house of God, would supply laborers for both home and foreign fields. Although books and publications upon present truth are pouring out their treasures of knowledge to all parts of the world, yet missionary posts must be established at different points. The living preacher must proclaim the words of life and salvation. There are open fields inviting workers to enter. The harvest is ripe, and the earnest Macedonian cry for laborers is heard from every part of the world.—The Review and Herald, February 19, 1889. CS 39.1
[An appeal made by Mrs. White in 1886. Written from Europe.] If we indeed have the truth for these last days, it must be carried to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Erelong the living and the dead are to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, and the law of God is the standard by which they are to be tested. Then they must now be warned; God's holy law must be vindicated, and held up before them as a mirror. To accomplish this work, means is needed. I know that times are hard, money is not plenty; but the truth must be spread, and money to spread it must be placed in the treasury.... CS 39.2Read in context »
Not only are the gifts and labors of Christ's followers desired, but in one sense they are indispensable. All heaven is interested in the salvation of man and waiting for men to become interested in their own salvation and in that of their fellow men. All things are ready, but the church is apparently upon the enchanted ground. When they shall arouse and lay their prayers, their wealth, and all their energies and resources at the feet of Jesus, the cause of truth will triumph. Angels are amazed that Christians do so little when such an example has been given them by Jesus, who even withheld not Himself from death, a shameful death. It is a marvel to them that when professors come in contact with the selfishness of the world they should fall back to their narrow views and selfish motives. 4T 475.1
One of the greatest sins in the Christian world of today is dissembling and covetousness in dealing with God. There is an increasing carelessness on the part of many in regard to meeting their pledges to the various institutions and religious enterprises. Many look upon the act of pledging as though it imposed no obligation to pay. If they think that their money will bring them considerable profit by being invested in bank stock or in merchandise, or if there are individuals connected with the institution which they have pledged to help to whom they take exceptions, they feel perfectly free to use their means as they please. This lack of integrity is prevailing to quite an extent among those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and looking for the soon appearing of their Lord and Saviour. 4T 475.2
The plan of systematic benevolence was of God's own arrangement, but the faithful payment of God's claims is often refused or postponed as though solemn promises were of no significance. It is because church members neglect to pay their tithes and meet their pledges that our institutions are not free from embarrassment. If all, both rich and poor, would bring their tithes into the storehouse, there would be a sufficient supply of means to release the cause from financial embarrassment and to nobly carry forward the missionary work in its various departments. God calls upon those who believe the truth to render to Him the things that are His. Those who have thought that to withhold from God is gain will eventually experience His curse as the result of their robbery of the Lord. Nothing but utter inability to pay can excuse one in neglecting to meet promptly his obligations to the Lord. Indifference in this matter shows that you are in blindness and deception, and are unworthy of the Christian name. 4T 475.3Read in context »