We can be thankful that God won’t leave us stuck in our sin. These verses can convict us to want to follow God faithfully, in contrast to those unfaithful Israelites who ignored God and then wondered why they weren’t being blessed. Nobody is being singled out here. As Malachi says, “Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God?”
The examples Malachi gives here point directly to the Israelites and how they disrespected God, living life on “their own” terms. The Israelites had been set apart by God to be his chosen ones. God had hoped they would live their lives as good examples for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The Israelites were in a pattern of disappointing God time and time again.
Continue reading “Malachi 2:10-17 – Disrespect”
Our last reading exposed the priests who were taking shortcuts and not honoring God in their sacrificial practices. Perhaps other areas of ministry were also suffering, but the prophecy was concerned with “shortcut” sacrifices that dishonored God.
We realize we, too, often fall short of giving God the priority he deserves. Today’s reading speaks to what happens when we do that. Malachi warns the priests that God will curse them for not following God’s ways and ignoring his instructions.
Continue reading “Malachi 2:1-9 – Shortcuts * Part Two”
Have you ever taken a shortcut to lessen your load? Apparently, these priests sure have. The LORD is not happy with them at all. I’m not sure I’d be that lazy or disrespectful to take a shortcut where honoring God was concerned.
But don’t we all do it from time to time? We rush our devotion time because something more pressing or important is crowding out our day. We sometimes skip our quiet times with God all together. I don’t think I’m the only one who has.
Continue reading “Malachi 1:6-14 – Shortcuts * Part One”
The word “malachi” means “my messenger,” and may or may not be a proper name. Malachi, along with Zechariah and Haggai, shared God’s messages in the early 5th century B.C. The theme of this book continues to be “turn to God–he wants a restored relationship with you!
The temple had been rebuilt now for some years, and the people were starting to do what people tend to do—drift away from God. They were losing their enthusiasm for worship. Have you ever felt that way? What helped with your apathy and disillusionment?
Continue reading “Malachi 1:1-5 – God Loves You”
The book of Zechariah closes with an apocalyptic prophecy. The events depicted here have yet to be fulfilled completely. This chapter describes the path to a renewed relationship between God and his people.
God’s kingdom will be fully revealed once evil is purged for good. Jesus ushered in the kingdom with his birth, life, and death. But the big reveal is yet to come. It’s what the apocalyptic prophecies speak about. Jesus himself told us about those end days and the glorious victory.
Continue reading “Zechariah 14:1-21 – Renewed Relationship”