Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 25, 1949

Will A Man Rob God?

Edwin Broadus

If it is a terrible thing to rob our fellow men, how much worse it is to rob God who has given us all we have. It is a serious thing to accuse a man of robbing God, yet God himself accused the Jews of this very thing, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye rob me." (Malachi 3:8) They were robbing God by withholding the best of the flock, and using for themselves what God had intended they should use in his service.

Unless we today use the gifts from God in the way he has appointed, to his honor and glory, we are as certainly robbing God as were the Israelites of old.

Matthew records the parable of the talents. A man, going into another country, called his servants unto him and delivered his goods to them. To one he gave five talents; to another two; and to another one, giving to each according to his ability. The servant with five talents gained five more, and the servant with two talents gained two more, but the servant with one talent was afraid and hid his talent in the earth. When the Lord of the servants returned, he rewarded those who had been faithful and had gained other talents, but he cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness. The servant was not punished because he had stolen that which belonged to his master, but he was punished for a failure to use his talent for his master. He had robbed the master by failing to use properly that which his master had entrusted to him.

All that we have is from God. We came into this world with nothing; we will leave it with nothing. James says, "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." We cannot comprehend how cold, how dark, and how desolate this world would be without the blessings of God. The material blessings, however, are the smallest and most insignificant of God's gifts. Far above all these are the spiritual gifts, the greatest of which was his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Even recognizing the grace and benevolence of God in these matters, men still rob him every day, taking for themselves that which rightfully belongs to God.

Robbers Of Time

For one thing, men are constantly robbing God of time. Every minute that we live is ours because of the goodness of God. We may not waste our time in riotous living as did the prodigal son, but we may fail to use it in righteous living. And a failure to make the right use of time is certainly a robbing of God — for God gave us the time that we might use it aright. Serving Christ is a full time job; even when we have spent all our time for him we have done only our duty. We have no time to waste by the shirking of responsibilities.

None of us claims to be living for Satan, but on the other hand all of us say we have a desire to keep from serving him. But do we ever consider that the best way to keep from serving Satan is to serve God? If we use our time in serving God, we have no time left in which to serve the devil If, however, we quit serving God, Satan will take over our lives.

Robbers Of Influence

We may rob God not only of our time, but also of our influence. Jesus said, "Even so let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) No life is so small and insignificant that it does not have some influence on somebody. Naomi of old may have thought her life could not possibly be influential anywhere, but her daughter-in-law, Ruth, was so powerfully influenced that she was willing to forsake her home and kindred, and even her religion, to go with Naomi and to worship the God whom Naomi served. Naomi may have been without influence with others, but with Ruth her influence was overwhelming. We can never know whom we may reach. People are watching our lives, they are following in our footsteps.

Since our manner of life is a constant influence on others, we must always guard our speech and our conduct. There is power in the tongue, power to destroy our own souls and the souls of others. Speech and actions alike must be pure and above reproach. Actions often speak louder than words; consequently if we say one thing and do another, men will be unable to hear what we say for observing what we do. If we teach men not to steal, yet steal ourselves, our influence will cause no one to stop stealing. Jesus taught that men will glorify God when they see our good works, not when they hear what we say and do not.

Therefore, as Paul told Timothy, we should be "an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity." (I Tim. 4:12) If our speech, our manner of life, our love, our faith, and our purity shine as a light to those around us, they will see our good works, and will glorify our heavenly Father.

Robbers Of Possessions

Finally, we need to be careful that we do not rob God of our material goods. The Jews were guilty of this in the days of Malachi. They had been robbing God in tithes and offerings. Of course they were not going into the temple and taking that which others had contributed to God, but they were robbing him by not giving him the portion of their own goods which he required. We do not have to steal from the collection plate to rob God of that which is his. If we do not purpose in our hearts and give as we have purposed, we are just as surely robbing God as we would be if we dipped our fingers into the collection basket and took that which others had given.

Our attitude toward our material possessions should be that which David had when he said, "All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." (I Chron. 29:14) If we would remember that all we have comes from God, we would give more of it back to him. Then it could be said of us, as it was of the Macedonians, "according to their power... yea, and beyond their power they gave of their own accord."

God is the author and the source of every blessing we enjoy on this earth. Will we rob him by refusing to use these blessings in the way he was appointed? Or will we say, "Love, so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."

People seldom lose their religion by a blow-out. It is usually by a slow leak.