My Come, Follow Me studies for this week took me to the book of Malachi. The name Malachi means “my message” (Bible Dictionary, “Malachi.” The lesson was titled “I Have Love You, Saith the Lord” and began with the following introduction.
“I have loved you,” the Lord told His
people through the prophet Malachi. But the Israelites, who had suffered
generations of affliction and captivity, asked the Lord, “Wherein hast thou
loved us?” (Malachi 1:2). After all Israel had been through, they may have
wondered whether the history of ancient Israel is really a story of God’s love
for His covenant people.
As you reflect on what you have read in
the Old Testament this year, what evidence do you find of God’s love? It’s easy
to see many examples of human weakness and rebellion. Yet throughout all of
that, God never stopped reaching out in love. When the sons of Jacob mistreated
their brother Joseph, the Lord still prepared a way to save them from famine
(see Genesis 45:4-8). When Israel murmured in the wilderness, God fed them
with manna (see Exodus 16:1-4). Even when Israel abandoned Him, turned to
other gods, and were scattered, God never fully abandoned them but promised
that if they repented, He would gather and redeem them “with great mercies”
(see Isaiah 54:7).
Viewed this way, the Old Testament is a
story of God’s patient, enduring love. And this story continues today. “The Sun
of Righteousness [will] arise with healing in his wings,” Malachi prophesied (Malachi
4:2). Jesus Christ did come, bringing physical and spiritual healing to all who
come unto Him. He is the greatest evidence of God’s love for ancient Israel and
for all of us.
taught numerous principles, but the principle for this post is “The Lord opens
the windows of heaven for us when we pay our tithing.” We read in Malachi 3:10:
“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.”
is the principle that I have known for my entire life. My parents married a few
weeks before the stock market crash in 1929, and they started their married
life in the Great Depression. One of their early experiences involved a
decision about tithing. They had a total of $10 in their possession. They owed
$10 in tithing, and they needed food. They discussed their problem: “Should we
pay our tithing, or should we buy food?” They decided to put their trust in the
Lord, and they paid their tithing. The next day, a man came to their house and
said, “I heard that you have hay for sale.” They had the hay, and the man paid
$100 for a load of hay. They learned a powerful lesson that day: the Lord opens
the windows of heaven when they pay their tithing. They had enough money to
purchase food and some to spare.
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught the following: “We can pay our tithing. This is not so much a matter of money as it is matter of faith. I have yet to find a faithful tithe payer who cannot testify that in a very literal and wonderful way the windows of heaven have been opened and blessings have been poured out upon him or her” (“Let Us Move This Work Forward,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 85).