The biblical account tells of disobedient kings and hard-hearted Israelites. Finally, God sent His chosen people into captivity because of their sin and rebellion. Israel was dispersed by Assyria and Judah was sent to Babylon for 70 years.
At the appointed time, just as God said, King Cyrus signed the decree and sent his cupbearer Nehemiah, to lead Judah’s people back to Jerusalem. But the last Old Testament prophet, Malachi, issued a stern warning from God to those returning refugees.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, in what way shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, In what way have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:6-9 NKJ).
The estimate is 20 percent of every congregation in America bears the cost for 100 percent of the church’s missions and budget needs. I ask you, are Christians in America guilty of robbing God just like ancient Israel?