|Posted by Lorraine Serra on May 29, 2010 at 10:50 PM|
In our study of Malachi, we left off last time considering the sub-standard offerings which the people of Israel were bringing to the temple. God is not pleased, and He seems to be relating through the mouth of Malachi, that He is even hurt and insulted.
After all, had He not been their God for generations? Had He not delivered them out of Babylon now and returned them to their homeland? Yet, the people continue in their insincere worship, offering less than the best. In Chapter 1, verse 9, He almost taunts the people, "Sure, go ahead and ask for My blessings and My favor, even while you bring lousy gifts and a half-hearted attitude."
In Part 2 of this study, I chose to interpret this verse as the gracious invitation, once again to lost and blind sinners to come to their Lord, repent, make an attitude adjustment and be amazed by His loving response.
As Christians, on this side of the cross, we can always choose to leave our paltry, sinful and selfish ways behind and be embraced by our loving Lord who chose to become the sacrificial lamb for us.
In finishing up this first chapter though, taking a look at the historical context, it is clear in verses 10 to 14 the Lord of Hosts is holding all of these pseudo worshipers in contempt, even finishing off with the charge that they willfully and consciously profane and defile the Name of the Lord. There is the promise for the future: " My name shall be great among the Gentiles!" Vs. 11 Take that, you scoundrels!! I chose you as My people, set apart, holy, and beloved by Me; but you have just blown it again! If you will not honor Me, then I will make My infinite love and mercy available to all non-Jewish people, that they may worship and proclaim the Greatness of My Name.
Of course, in this statement, God was not ending His relationship with His people Israel. No. That covenant is forever. He just decided to let them know that there was this amazing plan, yet to be revealed, that would make it possible for all mankind to enter into a love covenant with their Creator at a future date....the coming of Jesus christ of Nazareth, the Son of God, Savior of the World.
Verse 14 seems so harsh, yet justified. "But, cursed be the deceiver"... It really is all about sincerity, isn't it?
It is about being truly authentic with our authentic God.
I don't know about you, but, I know I often fail at being "all in it" at times, thoroughly and completely focused in my worship of my Lord and Savior.
It is a struggle being inside this human skin we're in, and dedicating our flesh to becoming more immersed in the spirit. But when we achieve that interface, by God's grace and with the help of His Spirit, even momentarily, we can experience true bliss, true awe, pure joy at the sweetness of infinite love and mercy. With disciplined practice, it becomes a state of being. Practicing the presence of God all the time...cuz He is there, y'know!
I am just so thankful that Jesus paid the price for my weakness and failure. His shed blood truly is the river of life which has cleansed me and forgiven me, for times past , present and future when I fall short of giving Him all He deserves, all of myself.
I welcome your insights and comments.
Categories: MALACHI Study