Thoughts About Malachi 3:10 and Luke 6:38, and Why God Made These Promises about Giving

When God’s people were robbing Him by withholding tithes and offerings, He said, “Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10).

It’s as if God is saying there is something very special about giving. He doesn’t say, “Don’t commit adultery. Test me in this. Give not committing adultery a try and see if I don’t bless you.” God doesn’t take His commands and reduce them to the level of “Oh, give it a try and see if it works.” It’s as if He’s making a special case out of giving, and saying, “Yes. Test me in this and see if I don’t bless you.”

There’s a New Testament equivalent—Luke 6:38 is a close parallel to Malachi 3:10, where Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap.” Anyone who says, “Oh, Malachi 3, that’s Old Covenant, and it’s restricted to that”—no. Luke 6 is very close. “Watch me abundantly provide for you.” And this is Jesus speaking, not King David or Solomon, who are living in splendor. This is Jesus, who doesn’t have a rock to lay His head on. He has the clothes on His back, and not much more. And Jesus is saying, “Just watch what happens when you give. My heavenly Father is going to overflow.”

In Malachi, why is that promise there? Is it only for Old Testament Israel, without any relevance whatsoever for New Testament followers of Jesus? I don’t think so. If we are disciples of Jesus, surely we must take seriously what Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 6:38.

I think Malachi 3 and Luke 6 are there for us because God longs for His people to live the life of grace, to live the life of free-will offering, and see how much fun it is and how God abundantly provides and blesses it. (And, by the way, shouldn’t we trust Him to choose what form those blessings should take, and not just hope for financial prosperity?)

As we faithfully give to Him, God frequently entrusts more to our care. May we continue to be generous and wise with whatever amount of His money the God of sovereign grace calls upon us to manage. When He gives back to us, may we give more back to Him and embrace not prosperity theology, but the ever-enriching and joy-drenched theology of grace.

For more, see our other resources on money and giving, as well as Randy's related books.

Photo by Ben White on

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries