6 You claim that I have changed but I am the Lord, I have never changed I am still the same God that I have always been. However, you too have not changed. You are still Jacob’s descendants and like your father you still lie and deceive. Yet, despite that I have not left you to your own devices.
7 You are just like your ancestors. They too turned their backs on me and refused to do what I asked of them. Please turn back, return to me. I long for you, I long to reach out to you and take you in my arms again. But you ask, why must we return to you if we have never left?
8 Well, tell me something says the Lord, is it right for people to rob the Lord? Of course not, and yet you steal from me! Now come on, don’t look so surprised and ask, “When did we steal anything from you?” Where are the tithes and the offerings that you need to bring to the temple, so the congregation can take care of the people that are in need? 9 Why do you think you are struggling so much and you have so little? It’s because all of you are robbing me! 10 Let me tell you what to do, bring your whole tithe to the storerooms of the temple so that there is enough to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. Test me in this and see what will happen. The moment you do that you will untie my hands that have been tied behind my back. And when my hands are untied I will be able to take care of you with only the best that I have. 11 Your crops will be full and beautiful, and your vineyards will overflow with grapes; I will see to that, says the Lord of abundance. 12 Your land will be a place of blessing. I will bless you, and all the peoples of the earth will say: “See how the Lord has blessed them.”
(Translation: Aubrey J. Botha)
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