Monday, August 20, 2012

The Mysterious Love of God - Introduction

Scripture: Malachi 1:1
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.

Insights: The book of Malachi is truly a message for the modern world.  There are a lot of different thoughts concerning the time period in which Malachi is writing this book.  This blog, however, is title Scott’s Thoughts, so I will share with you my perspective as to when it was written.  Malachi would have been a contemporary to Nehemiah.  Nehemiah comes to Jerusalem after being burdened for the people and helps them rebuild the wall.  During this time period there is a mini revival taking place.  In fact, read the words the people have spoken about their sin, “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness, Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You, Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.  “However, You are just in all that has come upon us; For You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly (Nehemiah 9:32-33).”  In other words, these people truly recognize why the Lord led them into exile and acknowledge that He had dealt faithfully to them because of their wicked heart.  Nehemiah has to return to Babylon for a time and in his absence the community of believers falls apart.  It is so bad that Eliashib, the priest, has intermarried with the Ammorites and has allowed his close relative Tobiah, the one who tried to stop the rebuilding of the wall over and over again, to move into the Temple of the Lord as a resident (Nehemiah 13:4-9).  The people stopped giving their tithes to the Lord.  They stopped honoring the Sabbath day.  As implied with Eliashib and Tobiah, they began to enter into marriage with other nations.  The children of Israel went from revival to rebellion in a very short span of time.  It is my belief Malachi is written during this intermediary time period between Nehemiah’s return to Babylon and his subsequent return to Jerusalem.  Malachi is God’s messenger (Malachi literally means, my messenger) and his job is calling the people back through repentance.  Beloved, we also, it seems, to be a fickle people turning from obedience to rebellion in a heartbeat.  We need to hear Malachi’s words to us and choose repentance as well.  Side Note: the word “through” in this first verse means “by the hand of” and is pointing back to Moses.

  1. Are you as fickle in your faith as the children of Israel?
  2. Are you as desperate as they were for a word from the Lord?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my wayward heart.  So, often I find myself running away from You instead of into Your arms.  Merciful Father continue to do Your redemptive work in my life and may I bring You glory as a result.  Amen.

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