|Posted by Lorraine Serra on July 13, 2010 at 12:44 PM|
Just had to share a bit more MEDITATION ON Chapter 2 before we go on.
We left Chapter 2 of Malachi seemingly holding on to whole bucket full of dung. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Aaron and Joshua, this God who created the heavens and the earth, who poured all goodness and possibility into His precious people whom He called His children, the “Children of Israel”, has repeatedly given them every good thing, worked miracles to redeem them out of seasons of harsh correction during captivity, upheld His covenant to make them a great nation, loved them despite their rebellion, and yet, once more, He must confront apathy, insincerity, disobedience, idolatry and infidelity.
It is a wonder that we have Malachi, this final prophet in a long line of prophets, serving as a mouthpiece for the Sovereign God Most High at all! Such patience and forbearance with this hard-hearted and stubborn people can only be possible streaming forth from a Divine Love that is far beyond our human comprehension.
You and I would have thrown in the towel by now, don’t you think? We might have pronounced this a hopeless situation.
Throughout their history, with each season of rebellion came an episode of chastening, as if God was saying to His wayward children, “You’re grounded!” They were held captive in foreign lands, in Egypt and Babylon; they suffered great losses in battles with Assyria, and under the reign of bad kings.
Yet, God remained faithful to His covenant and brought restoration to His people again and again, just as any loving parent would restore freedom and privileges to his children in hopes they have learned the value of obedience and respect. Forget not the reason a good parent would administer this punishment....for training, wisdom and for the child's own protection.
For my own part, I must confess that I have been through seasons in my life where I leaned upon my own understanding, strengths and resources in situations, rather than seeking to delight my God. I can sit in judgment over the Hebrews, or I can see myself in their story. How easy it is to rationalize our desires and ambitions with the attitude “God knows my intentions are good. He knows my heart." How often I have tried to justify my means by adopting the belief that God will bring good out anything I choose to do. And then, wearing blinders, I go off and do what I know I should not.
Could this human weakness and propensity towards self-deception be responsible for Israel’s practice of divorce, insincere worship and flat out idolatrous behavior?
Perhaps. Yet, God who surely knows men’s hearts, has not left us ignorant. He has set clear guidelines to insure we can avoid that bucketful of dung:
~~The 10 Commandments and, from Jesus, The Golden Rule (love God, love others as yourself). The choice is up to each of us.
Praise God for the gift of forgiveness and restoration through Jesus Christ His Son!
Categories: MALACHI Study