Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

December 3, 1901

Robbing God—No. 1

Mrs. E. G. White

The Lord desires His people to realize that selfishness is the great sin of the world, and that it has also become the prevailing sin of the Church. The Lord has been greatly dishonored by the failure of the Church to impart of their means for the advancement of the work which He desires to see going forward with power. I entreat my brethren and sisters throughout the world to awaken to the responsibility that rests upon them to pay a faithful tithe. Do not allow lax principles to lead you to rob God. Keep a faithful account with your Creator. Realize fully the importance of being just with Him who has divine foreknowledge. Let every one search his heart diligently. Let him look up his accounts, and find out how he stands as related to God.

He who gave His only begotten Son to die for you, has made a covenant with you. He gives you His blessings, and in return He requires you to bring Him your tithes and offerings. No one will ever dare to say that there was no way in which He could understand in regard to this matter. God's plan regarding tithes and offerings is definitely stated in the third chapter of Malachi. God calls upon His human agents to be true to the contract He has made with them. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,” He says, “that there may be meat in mine house.”

Duty is duty, and should be performed for its own sake. But the Lord has compassion upon us in our fallen condition, and accompanies His commands with promises. He calls upon His people to prove Him, declaring that He will reward obedience with the richest blessings. “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. 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.” He encourages us to give to Him, declaring that the returns He makes to us will be proportionate to our gifts to Him. “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” God is not unrighteous to forget your work and your labor of love.

How tender, how true God is with us! He has given us in Christ the richest blessings. Through Him He has put His signature upon the contract He has made with us. Are we trifling with God, selfishly robbing Him of the returns He has declared we should make to Him?

The Lord speaks, saying, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” “Even from the days of your fathers ye have gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them.” Souls are perishing in sin because church-members are robbing God, lavishing indulgences upon themselves, while the treasury of God is poorly supplied with funds. Thus God is dishonored, and His cause is impoverished. There is not means enough in the treasury to supply God's laborers in the field of service. Christ looks upon a vineyard unworked, a world unwarned, with wickedness increasing on every hand. Men and women are spending the Lord's goods in selfish gratification, preparing for the fearful punishment that must come upon them unless they repent.

The treasury must be supplied with funds, that Christian missions may be set in operation and supported. Schools must be established, that the youth may be prepared to stand at the last day. The multitudes going to ruin must be labored for. For the accomplishment of this good work the tithes and offerings of the people of God are needed. Let church-members do their very best in this matter. Withhold not your offering because it is small. If it is given with a willing mind and an understanding heart, the Lord will accept it, and in His hands it will be many times increased.

Can we not reason from cause to effect? Can we not see that because of our slothfulness in trading on the Lord's goods, because of our selfishness in refusing to return to Him His own portion, His work is retarded?

When Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the applause of the multitude was at its height. Hosannas were on the lips of the people; but the Saviour felt no joy. He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” He saw the thousands and thousands soon to be involved in the terrible destruction of the doomed city. How deep must His emotion have been as He thought of the nation that had forged its own fetters, sealed its own doom, gathered about it the cloud of Jehovah's wrath. “You have defiantly resisted all my pleadings,” He said. “Again and again I have averted the bolts of justice. In love I have waited for your penitence and repentance. I have borne with you as a man beareth with his own son that serveth him. But ye would not come unto me that ye might have life.”

But Christ's agonizing tears were not shed only for Jerusalem. He wept as He thought of the terrible retribution to fall upon an unrepentant world. He is still working in patience and love for the salvation of sinners. Is not the divine Messenger knocking at the door of the heart for entrance? Is not the Spirit striving with sinners? Has not Christ invited sin-sick souls to sit at His feet and learn of Him, to wear His yoke of submission and obedience? Has He not traversed the length and breadth of the land, scattering blessings in His path? There is no wearying of His patience, no repressing of His love. Hear His voice speaking to the weak, the weary, the helpless. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Will you not let grace soften the heart of stone?

God says to His people today, “It is my desire that you shall exemplify before a world sunken in sin and selfishness the sinlessness of the Redeemer's character. By the testimony you bear, men and women are to understand that this is the day of healing, the day of opportunity.” How many who claim to believe on Christ have learned His lessons of kindness, of tender pity, of unselfish love for the thousands perishing in their sins, scattered in all lands like wrecks on a desert shore? Those who share in Christ's glory must share also in His ministry. Help the weak, the wretched, the desponding. Over and over again repeat the gracious invitation, “Come unto me, ... and I will give you rest.”

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