Robbing Yahweh (Mal 3:8-3:10)

Will anyone rob God?

Yet you are robbing me!

But you say.

‘How are we robbing you?’

‘In your tithes!

In your offerings!

You are cursed

With a curse!

You are robbing me!

The whole nation of you!

Bring the full tithes

Into the storehouse!

Then there may be food

In my house.

Thus,

You put me to the test.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘See!

If I will not open

The windows of heaven

For you!

See!

If I will not pour down

For you

An overflowing blessing.’”

Yahweh asked them why they were robbing God.  They responded that they did not know that they were robbing God.  Yahweh answered by telling them that they were robbing him by not bringing their full tithes and offerings.  Thus, the whole nation would be cursed.  To rectify this, they were to bring their full tithes, so that the Temple storehouses would be full of food.  They were going to be put to the test.  Yahweh had the option of opening the windows to heaven for them.  He could pour down his blessings on them, if they stopped robbing him by withholding their tithes and offerings.

The wicked scoundrels (Jer 5:26-5:29)

“‘Wicked scoundrels are

Found among my people.

They take over

The goods of others.

They lurk

Like fowlers,

They set a trap.

They catch human beings.

Like a cage full of birds,

Their houses are full of treachery.

Therefore they have become great.

They have become rich.

They have grown fat.

They have become sleek.

They know no limits

In their deeds of wickedness.

They do not judge

With justice

The cause of the orphans,

To make them prosper.

They do not defend

The rights of the needy.

Shall I not punish them for these things?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, justifies his stance against the Israelites. This time he cites the wicked scoundrels in the land among his own people. They actually take the goods of others like robbers. They are like bird trappers, but they set their traps for their fellow humans. They are full of tricks that have made them great, rich, fat, and sleek. They have no limits to their wickedness. When they judge, they judge without justice, especially in the cases of orphans and the needy. Why shouldn’t Yahweh punish them? Why shouldn’t he bring retribution on this whole nation?

The letter of King Demetrius I (1 Macc 10:25-10:28)

“So King Demetrius sent a message to them in the following words.

‘King Demetrius

To the nation of the Jews,

Greetings!

Since you have kept your agreement with us,

You have continued your friendship with us.

You have not sided with our enemies.

We have heard of it and rejoiced.

Now continue still to keep faith with us.

We will repay you with good

For what you do for us.

We will grant you many immunities.

We will give you gifts.’”

King Demetrius I decided to address the whole nation of Jews rather than just Jonathan. He pretended that they have kept their agreement with him and that they were still on friendly terms. He acted as if they have not sided with his enemy. He was going to repay them for their friendship. He was going to grant them many immunities and give gifts to them.