Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away1 from my decrees and have not kept them. Return2 to me, and I will return to you,"3 says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask,4 'How are we to return?'
"Will a man rob5 God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes6 and offerings.
You are under a curse7--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe8 into the storehouse,9 that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates10 of heaven and pour out11 so much blessing12 that you will not have room enough for it.1311
I will prevent pests from devouring14 your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,15" says the LORD Almighty.
"Then all the nations will call you blessed,16 for yours will be a delightful land,"17 says the LORD Almighty.1813
"You have said harsh things19 against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask,20 'What have we said against you?'
"You have said, 'It is futile21 to serve22 God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements23 and going about like mourners24 before the LORD Almighty?
But now we call the arrogant25 blessed. Certainly the evildoers26 prosper,27 and even those who challenge God escape.' "
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.28 A scroll29 of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared30 the LORD and honored his name.
"They will be mine,31" says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession.a32 I will spare33 them, just as in compassion a man spares his son34 who serves him.
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous35 and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.36