It is interesting that Jesus gave the Nephites a recitation of Malachi 3-4 and not the first parts of Malachi as well. It makes me wonder. Did He give the other parts too and Mormon only included the parts he felt were most applicable to us, or did Jesus just give Malachi 3-4?
Regardless of this question, though, it is interesting to study the parts given and see how they apply to us.
The message seems to be about the importance of preparing for the second coming by repenting and purifying one’s self. Two particular issues are raised that need dealing with, which people aren’t aware, and which seem to underline the need for prophets and revelation.
Problem #1 is the people don’t understand that withholding their tithing’s and offerings constitutes robbing God and brings a curse. The promise is reinterated that blessings are poured out on those who tithe.
Problem #2 is the people think serving God won’t get them anywhere. They think there is no profit in it because the wicked seem to be far more successful. The problem with this is that it is an implicit rebuke of God Himself, asserting that His ways are less successful than the world’s. However, we are told that the righteous do not have this attitude, but they speak often to one another (to encourage each other to endure) and they fear the Lord (more than the world) and they think upon His name (instead of obsessing about worldly things).
In the end, those who believe the Lord’s ways are best and who act in line with that belief will be vindicated because the difference will be obvious between the Lord’s ways and the world’s ways. We are told the proud and wicked whom many thought were so happy and safe from difficulty will be burned up, whereas those who followed the Lord will be saved, healed, nourished, and at peace.
We get reminders about paying tithing from time to time, so the principle of tithing has higher awareness in the church. But how are our attitudes about the source of success and safety in life?