To those who don’t need God . . .

Malachi 3:8-9 “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.”

Over the years there have been several times when I’ve tried to share the gospel with people and their reaction has been “I don’t need that,” or something to that effect. While they might have been tolerant of the fact that I “believed in that stuff,” it wasn’t something that concerned them, or so they thought. You see, there’s an attitude among many people that because they aren’t Christians, they are essentially “off the hook” with respect to the God the Christian’s worship and that God’s commands. So, are they? Is the way that it works is that each person gets to follow his or her own “truth” and so long as they’re faithful to that “truth” things will work out ok for them in the end? Well, if the God of the Bible doesn’t exist, I suppose that philosophy might be just fine. But if He does exist . . .!

You see, if the God of the Bible exists, and Who has told us that “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3), and that “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-3), then each and every person on the face of the earth is accountable to Him. It’s a sobering thought and it’s addressed many places in Scripture, including in the verses above.

This passage says that people can actually rob God. Now if someone robs us, we expect a full accounting from the thief. We expect punishment for anyone who would dare take our stuff, and we want full retribution for what they have done. So, if it is possible to rob God, wouldn’t we expect Him to want the same? And how does one do such a daring and thoughtless deed? It’s by withholding from God the tithes and contributions (some Bible versions render this word as “offerings”) that are due Him.

You see, one of the ways we can tell if money is one of our gods is in how we use it. Since everything ultimately belongs to the Lord (for hasn’t He told us “All the earth is mine” (Exodus 19:5)?), then we are accountable to Him for what He’s allowed us to “have.” There are no “self-made men” in this world. We have been told by God that “it is he (i.e., God) who gives you power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). So, in the end, it’s all a gift. And there are responsibilities with those gifts. One of those responsibilities is to give back to God a portion of that wealth for His use. These gifts are called “tithes and offerings.” No one is off the hook regarding this giving. It’s a universal command of the God who rules heaven and earth. Yet, there are many people who have never given this command a second thought. They’ve lived their entire lives never giving anything to God. In so doing, they have lived a lifetime of stealing from Him. It’s a monstrous sin, like any other sin against God, yet so many people are walking around thinking they’re “good people” in spite of it.

There are others who never pray. They never thank God for anything, in spite of the fact that their very life and every breath that sustains that life is a gift from Him. Although God has commanded all of humanity to continually pray about everything (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6) and to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), they pray rarely, if ever, and never bow their heads to thank God even for the food that He gives them each and every day. Again, these are all monstrous sins against the God Who has created us, but so many have the gall to believe they don’t need Him and think that “all that religious stuff” is a waste of time.

But then to think that God has made a way to be forgiven for each and every sin by simply putting our faith in His Son Who died on the cross to pay the debt for our sins, and yet people can have the attitude “I don’t need Him.” It is the ultimate folly. To think that the God of the universe, Whom each and every one of us has deeply offended in more ways than anyone can count, would give us yet another gift, the gift of His only begotten Son, and that we can turn away from the One Whose “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made”(Romans 1:20) leaves us without excuse.

So, are you one of those who thinks you don’t need Him? Are you one who thinks that “you’re just as good as the next guy” and therefore, you’re good enough? If so, you may want to reconsider, for each one of us has offended God in more ways that we are even aware of, and we’ve done so for our entire life. Yet He’s made a way of reconciliation and forgiveness in spite of it all. Who could ever say they have no need of that?

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