Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday, October 7th, 2016: Malachi 1-4 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Malachi 1-4

The words Malachi spoke to God's people were powerful and practical; not just to Israel then, but to us today too.

"When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty."  Malachi 1:8

The Israelites priests were performing their religious duty - offering sacrifices.  But they were doing it with the wrong motives and with complacency.  They were not giving God their first rate animals, but rather offering up their diseased and lame animals.

Are we doing tasks like the Israelites did to simply get them done?  Do we say a quick prayer before we eat or go to bed so that we can check off "prayer" on our to-do list?  Do we speed read through our devotions possibly missing the main point of the reading just so we can get on with the rest of our day?

Well God responds to the Israelites with the following message:

"And now, you priests, this warning is for you. If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me."  Malachi 2:1-2

When we withhold from God, we short change ourselves on what God will do for us.  He does not want us to give a partial tithe or offering, He wants us to trust and obey Him.  He wants us to be faithful to our spouse.  He does not want us to be complacent bobbing around in luke warm water, but rather to prioritize Him so He is first and foremost in our lives.

So how do we do this?  "Return to me, and I will return to you", says the Lord Almighty.  (Malachi 3:7)

We need to renew our relationship with the Lord Almighty so that we will be spared on the day of judgment.  Just as the Lord would receive the Israelites back, He will do the same for us if we renew our relationship with Him through a sincere heart of repentance.  Our God is a God of love and justice, and He does not change.  So we can be sure that He will take our guilt away if we repent and turn to Him.

God wants to bless us beyond our comprehension; we just have to trust Him.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LordAlmighty."  Malachi 3:10-11. 

One of my favourite television sitcom series taped a show pointing out that in every relationship there is a reacher and a settler.  This, of course, was done with comedy in respect to a dating or married relationship.  However, God as our loving Father, pleads with us to recommit our lives to Him and His ways, and yet He has so much more to offer us, than we can offer Him.

Are we going to reach, or are we going to settle in our relationship with God?    

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Mark 1:1, Luke 1:1-4, John 1:1-18, Luke 1:5-80


Nathan said...

Malachi 1:8
When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

I too highlighted this verse, do I give my best to God? Or do I try and get away with giving less? Maybe the time I put into reading His word or when I pray for help.. do I do these things with priority or do I do them to get them done for the day so I can move on?

A good reminder to give God my best and have Him in my thoughts, and actions, throughout the day.

Tammy said...

God can see past our actions to our hearts - a sobering and convicting thought. He wants true believers, genuine followers, and He is not fooled by false motives.

What also struck me was how blind the people were to their own sin. They couldn't even see that what they were doing was an affront to a holy God. How often do we do the same thing, minimizing or justifying our sin?