by Ronald W Robey

Proverbs 22:22-23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

In the above verses, God declares that He will judge those pastors who oppress the poor and rob them. How does that apply to our pastors today, on may ask? Many pastors today are guilty of oppressing and robbing the poor when they tell the poor of their congregations that God requires them to tithe their money to the Church.

To be perfectly frank, they are actually robbing not just the poor, but every member of their congregation who believes their doctrine of the monetary tithe requirement. But it seems from the above verses that God takes special notice of the poor and will execute judgment upon those who treat them wrongly.

In the Mosaic Law, the poor were not required to tithe. According to Deuteronomy 14:28-29, the poor benefited from the tithe.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

Acts 20:33-35 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Apostle Paul admonished and instructed the Elders of the Church at Ephesus that they were to work so that they could support the weak. Sadly, many pastors today expect the weak to support them. Are you such a pastor as those priests who oppressed the weak in Malachi’s day? Do you place unnecessary burdens on the weak and poor? If so, God will come nigh to you in judgment as He did the priests Malachi rebuked. He is the same yesterday, today and forever… He changes not.