Malachi | 1 | 2 | 3:1-7 | 3:8-15 | 3:16-4:6 | PDF |

These small group studies of Malachi 3:8-15 contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Malachi 3:8-15 Bible Study With Discussion Questions – Robbing God

I. Robbing God (8-11)

Discussion Questions

• How can someone rob God? What does this principle teach us about God? About people? About money?
• Is there a difference between tithes and offerings?
• What does it mean to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse?
• Some pastors have used this verse to say that a person’s entire tithe should be given to their local church? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
• What does God promise to the Jews who do this? Do you think this promise applies to us? Will God bless us if we give Him our tithes and offerings?
• What is the devourer? Why would the devourer come?
• What principles can we learn from this passage to apply to our use of money today?
• Are there any New Testament verses that can give additional insight on this?
• What do you need to do to obey what we have learned in this passage?

Cross-References on Giving

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Matthew 6:2-4 – So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

1 Timothy 5:18 – For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and“The worker deserves his wages.”

Proverbs 19:17 – Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.

1 Corinthians 16:2 – On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up so that when I come, no collections will have to be made.

Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:31 – Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 10:15 – And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Will a man rob God? – God is the Creator of all things. He made us and He made this world we live in. Everything actually belongs to Him. But He puts some of it into our hands so that we can be stewards over it, using it for His kingdom. All the way back in Genesis 1:26, God put man as a steward over the earth. A steward is a caretaker who is entrusted with his master’s possessions. His job is to take care of these possessions, use them for his master’s business, and protect the interest of the master. We should understand that whatever God has put into our hands, we are to use it for Him and for His glory.

Reflect: Why does God give us something just so that we will give some of it back to Him again?

When I was growing up, my parents sometimes gave me and my siblings an allowance. It was their money, and they were not required to give us anything. But they did. And then they taught us how to use it. They taught us to give some to God. They taught us to save some. They taught us to use some to buy gifts for others, including for them. They used the money as a way to teach us how to be generous and think of others, not just ourselves.

I believe God entrusts materials and money to us for the same reason. He wants us to use these things wisely. He wants us to extend them back to Him with an open hand. He wants us to be generous.

Now I am a father with four children. And I also give them an allowance. It makes me so happy when I see them being generous with what they have been given and joyfully sharing with others. On the other hand, when they are selfish or stingy, it saddens me.

We can imagine that God feels the same way when He looks down from heaven and observes how we manage the resources He has entrusted to us.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Bible Verse

In the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded to tithe a certain amount to God.

Leviticus 27:30-34 – “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. 31 Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it. Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord. No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’” These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.

The Levites served God full-time as priests, instructors, teachers, mediators, etc. If the people did not tithe, then the entire system would collapse. Very strong language is used as God accuses the people of actually robbing Him! This is how seriously He takes the issue of giving. Refusing to tithe is the same as robbery.

In verse 7 we see that the people were distant from God. One reason is that they disobeyed God by selfishly and greedily refusing to give their tithes and offerings. From chapter one, we see that when they did give, they gave the worst of what they had: the blind and lame, which was a direct insult to God.

In the New Testament, Paul says that a worker is worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18). Tithes and offerings enable full-time workers to continue their ministry for the Lord. We should be supporting God’s work with our time, our energy, our talents, our spiritual gifts, and our money. Do you know that money is one of the most talked about topics in the whole Bible? It is talked about more than hell, heaven, marriage, parenting, employment, relationships, and a host of other issues. Why?

If our attitude toward money is wrong, it clouds our whole outlook toward life. Money can be very divisive. Our use of money often shows where our heart is and what our priorities are. God knows that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10.)

Reflect: What are some excuses people make for not giving to the Lord? How would you answer those?

Application: What does God think of your account books? Are you being a good steward? Are you generous with others? Are you faithful to offer God your tithe and offering? Take some time this week to evaluate your giving. Prayerfully ask God if you need to make any changes or increase your giving in some area. Remember that God commends the one who gives sacrificially, and He loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

2. You are cursed with a curse – In the Old Testament, the Israelites were cursed when they disobeyed God and blessed when they obeyed God. God may not always reward us with material blessings for our obedience, as He did with them, but He does bless us spiritually when we obey. We should also understand that disobedience always comes with negative consequences.

3. Bring the whole tithe into My storehouse – In the Old Testament, the tithe was apparently collected by a central organization. It was then their job to disburse it to the temple workers, priests, etc. We can see that the priests were not sincere in worshipping God from their hearts (from chapter 1). This method of distributing the tithes could have limited corruption. Otherwise, individuals may have given money, animals, or other valuables directly to priests as bribes in exchange for favors. By giving it all to a central storehouse, hopefully, with adequate supervision and accountability, it would limit corruption and the opportunity for both the giving and taking of bribes.

Some pastors have used this verse to tell their congregation that each individual’s entire tithe should be given to their local church, and the leadership of that church will then decide where to use it. Such an interpretation has no biblical basis, as the church did not exist at that time, and nowhere does the New Testament make such a demand.

When giving our tithes and offerings, we should realize that the church is universal. Therefore, leadership should give freedom to their congregation, and individual believers should feel free to give where God leads. Certainly, it seems reasonable to give at least a part of your tithe to the local church you attend to support it. But you do not need to succumb to unbiblical pressure to give all there. And leaders should not pressure people in this way. Give as God leads you, but do give.

4. I will… open for you the windows of heaven – God promised to bless the Jewish nation if they would obey Go