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February 24 – The Lord’s rebuke

“I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts.” – Malachi 3:11-12 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 11:1-31

This rebuke is one that we are very happy to accept! When we bring the full tithe to the LORD, His promise of blessing includes rebuking the devourer for us. The reality was that Israel’s crops and vines were being devoured because of their lack of trust, true devotion and covenant faithfulness to the LORD. They were putting forth a lot of effort with little favourable results. Farmers know that a lot of money, time and resources go into planting a field with the expectation of a good harvest in the fall. It’s very disappointing when the corn or beans don’t grow well, the harvest is poor and the investment of all that labour and money yields little. No one likes to work only to have their paycheque disappear with too many bills and expenses! No one likes working for little! The LORD says without Me your labour will not know true blessing.

Now, we must be careful not to fall into the prosperity gospel mindset, thinking if I give my full tithe to the LORD, He will, in turn, give material wealth and happiness as a result. The LORD does not promise health and wealth because we give money or some other resources to the church. Rather, His promises start with spiritual life and blessings in Christ. He provides our needs and enables us to be content with what we have. Christ gives true life and salvation and nothing can take that away. Trust Him today and receive real heavenly prosperity.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the LORD He is faithful so that we can truly depend upon Him. Praise the LORD that He promises to supply our needs and helps us to trust Him so that we experience life and blessing in Christ.

Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.

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