I decided to read the Book of Malachi today. Right away, there is a condemnation against Israel because of how they do not offer up the firstlings of the flock for sacrifice, but their blind and lame animals – they are withholding from God because they love their possessions more. Once again, a prophet will rail against the people who should know better, but choose poorly.
In Malachi 3:5, in among the sorcerers, adulterers, and liars are those who “oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right”. Here again is a prophet promising doom for a nation that forgets the poor and needy. The part about the hireling in his wages is unequivocally targeting people who are placing profits ahead of people; servants of mammon, not God.
Following that, in 3:8, the prophet asks “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”
Now, if the storehouses are filled again, the nation is promised a great blessing, that there will be no room to contain it, that the devourer will be rebuked… but, absent these acts of charity, the nation has no such guarantees.