Chapter 11: The Curse of Poverty

What is the curse of poverty? What causes the curse of poverty? In Haggai chapter 1, God’s people were guilty of having nice homes and letting the temple fall apart. In this day and time, the temple is the Body of Christ and we are still guilty of not taking care of that temple.

(Haggai 1:6) Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

Here in America, we have little sayings like, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go,” or, “Too much week left at the end of my paycheck.” Our poverty is always somebody else’s fault. But that is not what God’s Word says. Shall we believe how we feel, or believe what God says?

It is interesting how the Lord introduces the context of the tithe. He knew that we would be stingy, so He reminds us that He is the Lord and He does not change.

(Malachi 3:6) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

We are the sons of Jacob. If Abraham is our father of faith and we want to have his blessings, then we obviously are the sons of Jacob.

(Malachi 3:7) Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

We should not go away from God’s ordinances. But if we have, we must return unto Him. Then we don’t have to run all over trying to find God and His blessings. He will return to us.

(Malachi 3:8) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Tithe simply means a tenth. To give an offering would be to go beyond ten percent. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Cursed is the man that trusts in man,” yet the first fruit of our check is withheld in taxes. Many people think that they are tithing, when they give a tenth of what they bring home. If we are to be free from the curse of poverty, we need to give at least a tenth of all our increase.

(Malachi 3:9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Do you think that the curse being talked about here is from Satan? If Satan could bless you, he would do it for withholding from God. Let’s face it, this curse is from God. We self-impose this curse by hanging on to what belongs to God.

(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.

God gives us both our portion and His together so that we can either prove Him and see His abundance. Or we can withhold His ten percent and live in poverty. We get to choose. The curse of poverty is like a double-edged sword. It is a form of idolatry when we love money more than we love the Lord. We don’t show appreciation to Him by giving. It is a form of idolatry and idolatry brings curses. And that’s why poverty and idolatry go hand in hand. In the nations where you see the greatest poverty, there are many idols and few Christians.

(Malachi 3:11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

In America, we have droughts, floods, crop failures, and disasters. At one time, the whole world knew that we were a Christian nation and they feared us. We are not seeing the blessings in this day that we had in times past. We do not have the abundance of food, or the respect of the world. In verse 7, it says, “If you return unto me, I will return unto you.” Wake up, church! We need to repent and to see our nation rise back up again because of God’s blessings. No wonder we don’t strive to get our children to continue in the church. We don’t even invest back to God what is His. So, if we will not trust Him with our money, we will not trust Him with our children. This could cause them an eternity in hell.

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