Sunday, July 31, 2011

National Curse

National Curse
August 1, 2011
Malachi 3:9 "You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me."

Economic blessing is something most every person of any nation desires. We'd all love the random large checks in the mail and jobs for all eligible workers. Everyone has day-dreamed of what it would be like to have an endless supply of money, or at least money enough for all the bills with a little left over. There is a known formula for putting yourself in the best position possible for making that happen, if you serve the Lord. You may have heard it as bringing the WHOLE tithe into the Lord's house (this is that ten percent of your gross income). You may read about it in Malachi chapter 3. But, there is another factor to consider when waiting for that economic blessing to fall from the sky. It is a curse that is experienced if "you" don't tithe.

In Malachi 3, the Lord was quick to judge the entire nation of Jews because, as a whole, they were not bringing the full tithe into the Lord's house. Certainly there were a few; there must have been some, who tithed faithfully and diligently in that whole nation of people. But regardless of how faithful the few tithed and waited for the financial blessing that was promised to follow, the entire nation was under a curse. It does not seem fair that the faithful would receive the same curse as all the others who didn't tithe. But the Lord was clear the financial curse extended to the whole nation, regardless of who was actually tithing.

Consider the United States today, the population of which is currently over three hundred million. A California research firm, The Barna Group, estimated that in 2007 only 5% of the U.S. population tithed on a regular basis. But in 2007, over 76% of the U.S. population identified themselves in different sampling polls as Christian. WOW! Talk about not putting your money where your mouth is! Yet, as a nation, and as individual Christians, we wonder why our economic blessing from the Lord seems non-existent. If you look at many other nations, the percentage of Christians is much lower and consequently, the percentage of individuals who tithe.

The percentage of Christians in the U.S. has declined steadily over the last decade and so, incidentally, has the financial success. It seems every year there are fewer Christians AND the percentage of those Christians who tithe declines. Could there be a correlation between the financial decline in the U.S. and the decline in individual giving? I would suggest that the Lord might be trying to send a message. I would also suggest that the first nation of individuals to dedicate themselves to the Lord whole heartedly (and put their money where their mouth is) would find the Lord's words in Malachi to be true!

In the Bible, a few couldn't carry the whole nation with regard to tithing and subsequent blessing. I would also suggest the same might be true today, in ANY nation. We don't have to start with every person, just everyone who claims to be a Christian. Instead of sending financial aid to other countries (though they need it), maybe we should send more missionaries. Instead of complaining that the politicians can't fix our own economic decline, maybe we should just start tithing on the money we DO have? That means all of those who call themselves by the Lord's name, not just a few faithful.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Jer 8:12-14, Malachi 3, Luke 6:38, Luke 12:31, 2 Cor 9:5

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