GOODNESS is The Desire for Holiness

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Topic: Fruit of the Holy Spirit & God’s Promises for All Our every Needs

Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,

Pastor Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM

Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches – https://homefellowshipchurches.org

The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT

Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – GOODNESS #2

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against these things.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]

We need to understand that love is the first characteristic of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is well placed at the head of the list, for it permeates all the rest of the attributes. Somehow, if we live a life of love, the other virtues will attend us all the days of our lives. Love is the key that unlocks the entire fruit basket of Galatians 5:22-23, as well as permeating 1 Corinthians 13.

Podcast – Goodness #2

The Manifestation of the HOLY SPIRIT is on FIRE!

A Message to Rebellious Judah

In Isaiah 1:1-6 NLT says, “1 These are the visions that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. He saw these visions during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. 2 Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the Lord says: “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. 3 Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care – but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.” 4 Oh, what a sinful nation they are – loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the Lord. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on Him. 5 Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. 6 You are battered from head to foot – covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds – without any soothing ointments or bandages.”

Isaiah was a prophet during the time when the original nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms – Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The northern kingdom had sinned greatly against God, and the southern kingdom was headed in the same direction – perverting justice, oppressing the poor, turning from God to idols, and looking for military aid from pagan nations rather than from God. Isaiah came primarily as a prophet to Judah, but his message was also for the northern kingdom. Sometimes “Israel” refers to both kingdoms. Isaiah lived to see the destruction and captivity of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C. Thus, his ministry began with warning the northern kingdom.

Isaiah—means “The LORD shall save,” and this expresses the main subject of his prophecies. Vision – For references to this word, see Numbers 12:6 and 1 Samuel 9:9. Judah and Jerusalem – These locations are the main subject of Isaiah’s prophecies, although he touches on other nations when they relate to the Jews (Isaiah 13–23). The prophet also relates the ten tribes of Israel to the Jews (Isaiah 79). Jerusalem itself is specifically set apart because it is the site of the temple, the center of the theocracy, and the future throne of the Messiah (Psalm 48: 2, 3, 9; Jeremiah 3:17). “Lion of the tribe of Judah” refers to our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:5). Uzziah—also called Azariah (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 26); it was in the year of his death (740 B.C.) that Isaiah received his visionary call to be a prophet (Isaiah 6:1.). Jotham reigned independently from 740–732 B.C., followed by Ahaz (732–715 B.C.) and Hezekiah (715–686 B.C.) (Thiele). The Talmudic tradition of Isaiah’s martyrdom during the reign of the apostate king Manasseh is neither confirmed nor denied by this introductory statement.

In Verse 2 states – “2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth” – These are the very words of Moses (Deuteronomy 32), implying that the law was the charter and basis of all prophecy (Isaiah 8:20).

In Deuteronomy 4:26 and 31:28 – heaven and earth are the witnesses to the covenant made between God and Israel. The language is suggestive of a law-court (Herbert), as if God is taking Israel to court to bring a litigation against His wayward bride.

The LORD hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children – This is the divine name, Yahweh, which is often used in covenantal contexts. God, as Israel’s husband (Jeremiah 2:2; Ezekiel 16:8-13; Hosea 2:16), finds His children (lit. “sons”) have turned against Him. The term “son(s)” is also found in covenantal contexts to describe the relationship between a suzerain and vassal (“Son,” ISBE).

In Verse 3 describes – “the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib” – In a rather degrading way, Isaiah points out that the nation of Israel is worse than domesticated animals, for at least these animals know their master or provider. The word “master” is ba’al, which means “master,” “possessor,” or “husband” (“Baal,” NBD), and commonly is used as an epithet of the Canaanite god Hadad. A pun is likely intended by using this word, pointing to the fact that God’s people were guilty of serving pagan deities, especially the fertility god, Baal-Hadad.

Israel doth not know “Know” (Hebrew yadha’) applies not to intellectual knowledge but experiential knowledge (Oswalt); it implies the closest kind of intimacy (cf. Genesis 4:2) (Kaiser). God quite naturally expected thanks and obedience for His faithful provision (Kaiser).

In Verse 4 describes the word, people – the peculiar designation of God’s elect nation (Hosea 1:10). The word children – by adoption (Hosea 11:1), yet with a load of guilt (Psalm 38:4; Matthew 11:28), The words just like their fathers before them; for man is born evil (Genesis 6:12). The word provoked – lit. “Despised,” so as to provoke (Proverbs 1:30, 31).

The Holy One of Israel – God’s character stands in direct contrast to the profane conduct exhibited by the people. The prophet’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6:2., in which God is described as “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3), undoubtedly left a significant impact on Isaiah and may well be behind the expression “Holy One of Israel,” an epithet used twenty-six times throughout the book of Isaiah, and only a few times in the remainder of the OT.

Here “Israel” means the southern kingdom, Judah. The people of Judah were sinning greatly and had turned against God. God brought charges against them through Isaiah because they had rebelled and had forsaken the Lord. By these acts, they had broken their moral and spiritual covenant with God (see Deuteronomy 28). By breaking their agreement, they were bringing God’s punishment upon themselves. First God gave them prosperity, but they didn’t serve Him. Then God sent them warnings, but they refused to listen. Finally, He would bring the fire of His judgment (see Isaiah 1:7). Can we relate this in California where the first time I heard the word, “Firenado”. A tornado not with wind and rain but with fire!

In Verses 5-6 presents the image of a body, symbolizing the nation, covered with the marks of disease (Grogan). whole head is sick . . . whole heart faint. Sin is the cause of the moral disease of the head, or intellect, and the heart. The symptoms Israel was suffering are not stated here. Perhaps it was a lack of fertility due to the lack of rain, one of the covenant blessings (Leviticus 26:3-5; Deuteronomy 28:11-14).

Or based on Isaiah 1:7, the wounds were the result of the devastation caused by the Assyrians who were militarily active in Israel during the reigns of Ahaz, Manasseh, and Hezekiah in Judah, not to mention the destruction of Israel from c. 745–722 B.C. (Hayes and Irvine). Whatever was the matter, the national symptoms should have made it clear to Israel that God was not pleased with them (Oswalt). Sin affects everyone, from the lowest to the highest man in society (Isaiah 9:13-16).

Isaiah first describes their wretched condition, which is obvious to all (Isaiah 1:6-9), and then points to their irreligious state, which is the cause of their condition. The word wounds – justly inflicted as a result of their sin (Hosea 5:13). mollified with ointment. This refers to the application of “oil” (RSV, NASB, JB, NEB, NIV) to wounds (Luke 10:34; James 5:14) or to its ingestion for medicinal purposes (“Oil,” NBD).

As long as the people of Judah continued to sin, they cut themselves off from God’s help and isolated themselves. When we feel lonely and separated from God, remember that God does not abandon us. Our sins cut us off from Him. The only sure cure for this kind of loneliness is to restore a meaningful relationship with God by confessing our sins (see 1 John 1:9), obeying His instructions (see Micah 6:8), and communicating regularly with Him (see Psalms140:13; Isaiah 1:16-19).

The consequence of Israel’s disobedience and later punishment was that God’s people never saw the relationship between obedience and righteousness. They lost that special relationship with God that they might have had if they had craved holiness and truth.

God wants His children including us as Born-Again Christians to be good. In this, He is the most typical parent. How differently our children behave at their various phases of growth.

When they are very young, they pass through the “he hit me” – “I did not” phase of quarreling. When they are older, it’s “he’s/she’s been in the bathroom two hours” – “I have not” phase of quarrelling. When they are teenagers, it’s “he/she got to drive the car last week” – “I did not” phase of quarreling.

Whatever the phase, parents genuinely wish their children to behave, to be good. They want their children to love each other. Amen!

Donations for Author’s Books

This book, “From The WORDS And THOUGHTS To The SWORDS And BATTLEGROUNDS” is planned and designed with three goals in mind (thought): • To help us become more like our Lord Jesus Christ – so much like Him that our family, loved ones, friends, and others in our lives can see Him manifested and reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes. • To help us surrender and submit to God and resist the devil. • To help us be always victorious in our lives by winning the spiritual battles. Author’s next book is coming soon, entitled, “From The BATTLEGROUNDS and WARS To The OVERCOMING And VICTORIES”

$1.00

God Promised Blessings to Jerusalem and the People of Judah

In Zechariah 8:14-17 NLT says, “14 For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: “I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 15 But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 16 But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 17 Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.”

For more than 15 years, God and His prophets had been urging the people to finish building the Temple. Here again, God encouraged them with visions of the future. We may be tempted to slow down for many reasons: People aren’t responding; we feel physically or emotionally drained; the workers are uncooperative; the work is distasteful, too difficult, or not worth the effort. God’s promises about the future should encourage us now. He knows what the results of our labors will be, and thus He can give us a perspective that will help us continue in our work for Him.

God promised to give His people rich rewards, reassuring them that despite the punishments they had endured, He would not change His mind to bless them. But He also said they had a job to do: “This is what you must do.” God will be faithful, but we also have responsibilities: to tell the truth, exercise justice, and live peacefully. If we expect God to do His part, let’s be sure to do ours. Amen!

In this passage, Zechariah is opting for being good and not goody-goody. He says that true children of God will do the honest thing – the neighborly thing. They will be good people.

This passage tells us that God will do good to Israel, but this goodness asks that those receiving it do some good of their own. From the passage, we can infer that the people were not doing good to others. God has to remind them to be truthful in their dealings and kind in their actions. God’s not asking for a fake kind of illusion of goodness from His people. God wants the real thing.

To be good or goody-goody: how shall we ever determine the difference? Are we trying to build ourselves up so that we can feel good about how good we are or trying to build godly obedience and moral fiber into our lives?

Here are four questions we may ask ourselves to determine whether we’re aiming at holiness or just a good reputation.

First, are we more prone to do good if someone sees it or recognizes it? It is a simple question but very defining. When we behave well under scrutiny, we may only be craving reputation. When we behave well when only God is looking, we are probably seeking holiness.

Second, do we want to be thought of as a person who does the proper thing or a person who can be counted on to die for the right cause? The martyrs hardly ever read Miss Manners, but they did devote a lot of time to seeking the heart of God.

Third, do we feel bad when someone else in our church and/or fellowship is acknowledged for doing some ministry while something we did was entirely overlooked? This is common fault. We really don’t mind someone else getting the “Good Samaritan Award” as long as we’re first runner-up. But true ministers of our Lord Jesus Christ turn from the accolades of peers in favor of the accolades or awards of God.

Fourth, and this is the hardest question of all, are we prone or lying face down to giving things anonymously or secretly so that no recognition could ever come back to us? We will know we are truly good when we reach this level of integrity. Amen!

Punishment for Disobedience

In Leviticus 20:26 NLT says, “26 You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.”

The theme of avoiding sin in the Promised Land continues in Leviticus 20. God has revealed the future of man in His Word, and seeking to know and control that future through mediums, Spiritists or astrology is tantamount to unbelief and rebellion (Leviticus 20:6). “They are guilty of a capital offense” (Leviticus 20:9) meant that the law of blood revenge would not apply in this case. The offender would have to bear the guilt for his own death. This chapter rounds out the section on the Israelites avoiding pagan perversions so that the Promised Land would not vomit them out of it (Leviticus 20:22-23). It also stresses the reasons for dietary and religious separation (Leviticus 20:25-26).

This one-verse injunction on being holy follows hard upon the prior verse, which endorses the kosher system of eating. This pairing implies that obedience is a requirement of holiness. God gave good laws to keep His children from harm. When the Israelites respected those laws, they moved in the direction of God-likeness. They craved obedience and goodness, and in the process, they moved closer to the holiness of God.

Craving holiness is searching for the nearest way to God. The hunger for holiness is insatiable or unquenchable in the souls of those who want a deepening relationship with God. How shall we have enough of Him of whom we have had too little? We must have more, “More, more about Jesus,” runs the hymn, “More of His saving fullness see, More of His love Who died for me.” The hunger for holiness.

Holy Spirit breathes on me, until my heart is clean; let sunshine fill its inmost part, with not a cloud between. Amen!

Conviction or Compassion

In 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 & 11:1 NLT says, “23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

1 Corinthians 11:1 KJV says, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

The issue of eating meat offered to idols led Paul to three conclusions in the matter that can be applied to the broad spectrum of Christian liberties:

  1. While eating such meat is essentially unimportant to one’s faith, and while it is allowed (not against God’s law, see also 1 Corinthians 6:12), it may not necessarily be helpful to the believer. The Christian has the freedom to eat such meat because he or she knows it doesn’t matter (1 Corinthians 8:6-8). Just because something is not against the law, however, doesn’t mean that it is helpful.
  2. While believers are free to practice their freedom in our Lord Jesus Christ in matters that are allowed, some practices of freedom do not necessarily work to build up individual believers, others, or the church and/or fellowship
  3. Therefore, Christians are to use their freedoms, not for their own good, but to think of other Christians and what is best for them. As Paul had concluded at the end of Chapter 8, all Christians, free in our Lord Jesus Christ, should humbly set aside their freedoms in order to win more people for the Kingdom. Nothing should ever impede a believer’s witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. It is always more important to avoid unhelpful actions than to assert freedoms. Is this applicable to wearing masks and get vaccinated? Huh! Let’s ask God, the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us. Amen!

Goodness involves a natural concern for the welfare of others. A good person does not want to hurt another for any reason. We all have nervous systems. We all feel pain and elation or joy. To forget that and to hurt someone is to bar the way to showing that person any kind of ministry.

Goodness always seeks to maintain a balance between conviction and compassion. While we need to strive for holiness, at the same time we need to be certain that our desire to help others remains unimpeded by our beliefs.

One of the early Christian “desert fathers” left his hermitage or private retreat and went into town to reclaim his niece who had become a prostitute. He did not agree that a man of God should frequent brothels, but he abandoned his convictions and entered. There he confronted his niece and reclaimed her for God.

Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ was accused of fraternizing with sinners, and so He did. He did not admire their lifestyles, but He felt their need. With such goodness, we build a bridge to others.

In other words, if we come to the place where we are torn between conviction and compassion and must take one course or the other, it is better to emphasize compassion. Amen!

Receive Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Blessing and Have a Right Relationship with God, Our Savior

In Psalm 24:1-6 NLT says, “1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. 2 For He laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. 3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? 4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. 5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. 6 Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.”

Because “the earth is the LORD‘s,” all of us are stewards, or caretakers. We should be committed to the proper management of this world and its resources, but we are not to become devoted to anything created or act as sole proprietors because this world will pass away (1 John 2:17).

This Psalms may have been written to celebrate moving the Ark of the Covenant from Obededom’s house to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:10-12). Tradition says that this Psalms was sung on the first day of each week in the Temple services. Verses 1-6 tell who is worthy to join in such a celebration of worship.

Worship is a kind of meal we share with the Almighty. If God were our dinner guest, we wouldn’t consider serving Him leftover devotion nor consider hurrying to the table, unwashed, unkempt, and fouled by our own immorality. There must always come a time of preparation when we meet God. Once we are clean, once we are morally pure, then we shall enter in and find our worship sweet.

Who shall enter the presence of the Lord? The psalmist suggests that it is time for worship-readiness inspection.

Look at our hands: Are they clean? Have we taken a bribe or struck out at a fellow human being in physical anger? Have our hands been mucking about in side deals that have profited us and hurt someone else? Have our hands touched things forbidden or shaken other hands in political side deals that hurt others but put us in office?

Look at our hearts: Is it pure? Here in the center of our lives where we have raised thrones to God are there some new motives that hide truth from our family, our church and/or fellowship friends, or the IRS? What devious morality or inner flirtations with Satan have we permitted to live in our hearts – the very throne room of His Lordship over our once holy life?

Look at our souls: Has it trafficked with idols? Has it admired the material world or set its heart on affections that God could not honor?

All in all, goodness is the inspector that examines our worship. When goodness approves of the state of our hands, heart and soul, and spirit, we are ready to enter into worship. We should make sure of this. It is important to get ready to worship. In worship, we enter into audience with a holy God. If we were to be invited to a private audience with a king/queen, would we not spend infinite time preparing ourselves to meet him/her?

By contrast how shoddily, sloppily, poorly, badly or carelessly – how thoughtlessly, inconsiderately, unkindly, meanly or selfishly, insensitively, tactlessly, rudely – do we run into the presence of God. Let us slow down and prepare ourselves for worship. Are our hands clean? Are our hearts pure? Are our souls free of all idolatries? Let the Holy Spirit and God’s Words give us the conviction and compassion. At this context and time, I chose conviction. Amen!

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Now, let’s talk about “Prayer and “Salvation”.

Prayer is the key that unlocks and reveals faith. Effective prayer needs both an attitude of complete dependence and the action of asking. Prayer demonstrates complete reliance on God. Thus, there is no substitute for prayer, especially in situations that seem impossible.

So, let our hearts and minds in tune with God, in the power of God, the Holy Spirit. Let’s continuously and persistently pray for God’s perfect will be done. We as Born-Again Christians have been tried and cleansed, we have moved freely into a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that is more powerful than it was before our trials. We are at home in the presence and fellowship of God, for we are heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, more like Him that we could ever have dreamed possible. So, let’s continuously and persistently pray for God’s perfect will be done. Amen!


The principle is that no one has anything of value to bring to God in order to deserve salvation, mercy, justification, or even a second glance from God. The proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored. Acceptance before God cannot be achieved by good deeds, piety, or any amount of self-proclaimed righteousness.

Let’s never get over the effect of God’s saving transformation on people’s lives. People who were lost in sin, filled with anger and bitterness, give up their hatred and become approachable as we have studied and learned last time. That is, of course, why we minister to others. Those of us who minister are not people to whom (fruit of the Holy Spirit) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control comes naturally. We are people who have been remodeled by grace. We thankfully leave our old natures far behind as we embrace the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, the first of the list > agape love of God, and in our treatment of others. Amen!

Sunday by Sunday as we come to worship, let me encourage our brothers – and sisters-in-Christ, and I want my readers and listeners to be both strong in the faith and sensitive to others’ needs. Because all, we as Born-Again Christian believers are strong in certain areas and weak in others. We constantly need to monitor the effects of our behavior on others.

In these GOODNESS Series of Podcast, we will learn the following PURPOSES of this fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT:

  • We just learned to care how God feels about our morality
  • Received and to have the desire for holiness
  • To know that God implanted righteousness into our lives through our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Learn to imitate Christ
  • To be contented with God’s commandments

On every Podcast, I always have three (3) questions we can answer from only these two (2) Sources: The Bible and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. The following are:

First is about our > Observation: What do these passages or Scriptures say to you?

Second is about our own > Interpretation: What do these passages or Scriptures mean to you?

Third is about how we can apply > Application: How do the meaning of these passages or Scriptures apply to you or to your situation?

If you are not sure that you are Born-Again Christian believer or you have relatives, loved ones, friends, neighbors, and people in your circle of influence, please take a look and/or guide them to one of our ministries, “An Invitation to Meet Our Lord Jesus Christ” at https://homefellowshipchurches.org/an-invitation-to-meet-our-lord-jesus-christ/

Let’s give an opportunity for the lost souls to experience on being Born-Again Christian as explained by our Lord Jesus Christ in the book of John 3:13 in the New Testament of the Bible.

It is as simple as A, B, & C > Admit, Believe, & Confess. All Born-Again Christian believers prayed this simple prayer we called “Sinner’s Prayer”

“Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I acknowledge and admit that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe and have faith in Jesus Christ who was born of Virgin Mary, died on the Cross for the penalty of my sins, and rose again that I may have the eternal life. I confess and declare Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord of my life. Please comfort, guide, and help me Holy Spirit to live and grow in my spiritual life according to Your Words, purpose, and perfect will of God, in my Lord Jesus Christ name, Amen!”

If you prayed this, “Sinner’s Prayer” sincerely in your heart, you are Born-Again Christian believer. However, you are a spiritual baby who needs to grow up. (See 1 Peter 2:2). You need to find a church or fellowship to grow spiritually. We are glad to establish or bring the fellowship to your own home if it is safer.

Now, let me pray for all of you:

Father God, we come into your presence in our Lord Jesus Christ name, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ for Your agape love and forgiveness you have done on the Cross of Calvary, and continue to intercede for us in prayer. Thank you, Holy Spirit as our Helper and Comforter. Thank you for the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, courage and strength. We cling, yield, plug-in and tune-in to you Holy Spirit to help us understand God’s Words, obey them, receive Your divine revelation, know the Truth that sets us free, and apply them in our lives, in our Lord Jesus Christ name, Amen!”

Let’s praise and worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Give all thanks to God for all answered prayers.

Please send your > Praise Reports (answered prayers) and New Prayer Requests via email to: trinityblessings@homefellowshipchurches.org. God bless you all and our families!

Donations for Author’s Books

This book, “From The WORDS And THOUGHTS To The SWORDS And BATTLEGROUNDS” is planned and designed with three goals in mind (thought): • To help us become more like our Lord Jesus Christ – so much like Him that our family, loved ones, friends, and others in our lives can see Him manifested and reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes. • To help us surrender and submit to God and resist the devil. • To help us be always victorious in our lives by winning the spiritual battles. Author’s next book is coming soon, entitled, “From The BATTLEGROUNDS and WARS To The OVERCOMING And VICTORIES”

$1.00

A Message to be Blessed:

A Call to Repentance and Be Blessed

In Malachi 3:7-15 AMPC says, “7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it”, says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 2:2.] 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer (insects and plagues) for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruits before the time in the field,” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight”, says the Lord of hosts.

If the people would obey God, giving as they should, God would flood His people with blessings. There would be an overabundance of God’s blessing if He was given what He requested.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse – See 2 Chronicles 31:11; cf. 1 Chronicles 26:20; Nehemiah 10:38; 13:5, 12. If the temple storehouses were empty, it was the people’s fault. God had already blessed them with enough to give a little back to Him.

Instead of destroying our crops (blessings), God would make them come in greater abundance than we had ever imagined possible (Amos 4:9; Haggai 2:19; Zechariah 8:12). The devourer – probably referring to locusts, though the word here is general in meaning (Baldwin). In the Near East, locust swarms are known for their ability to damage huge tracts of agricultural land (see note on Joel 1:4).

A delightsome land – All of the blessings promised to Jacob would come to pass if the people would obey God (Deuteronomy 33:29; Zechariah 8:13). Their land would be a delight to all who saw it (Daniel 8:9).

The problem in Malachi 3:7-12 was the people’s departure from God as reflected by their neglect of tithes and offerings. Two annual tithes were required according to Israelite law – one for the Levites (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21), and one to be used in worship at the annual feasts in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 14:22). A tithe was required every three years to provide for the needs of the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). There is debate as to whether this tithe for the poor was in addition to or served as a substitute for the tithe used in worship.


The New Testament pattern for tithing is proportionate giving – a person is to give “in relation to what you have earned” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Certainly a tithe should be given proportionate to one’s wealth, but not all proportionate giving is a tithe.


The anticipation of blessing for obedience to God’s command to tithe was based on the Mosaic covenant, which promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Malachi 3:10; cf. Deuteronomy 28:15-68). Generally, God will meet the needs of His own people (Psalm 34:9-10; Philippians 4:19), but that is not an unconditional guarantee. There certainly were and are exceptions. Yet, where God chooses not to provide physically, He gives sufficient grace to go without (2 Corinthians 12:9).


The problem in Malachi 3:14-15 was that the people were guilty of arrogant words against God. They were saying, “There is no prophet who is serving God,” and “God is not concerned about justice.” God responded by showing that He did distinguish between the wicked and the righteous. The righteous would be blessed, and the wicked would be judged.

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