Archive for March 1st, 2018

The book of Malachi totals 54 verses.  If you are able to read all of it today, fantastic.

The message is for the remnant of God’s people returning to the ruined Jerusalem, rebuilding walls and temple, retold in Nehemiah and Ezra. We’re at the end of the Old Testament, a few hundred years before Jesus’ birth. The message is still the same, God’s love for a sinful people, God’s passion for His treasured possession.

God’s people had been in exile 70 years, this as a punishment, a judgement for their unfaithfulness to God – the Land had been removed from them by other kings and rulers. The Land, a symbol of their unique place in God’s heart, with all the blessings that accompanied it, was gone.  But God didn’t stop loving them or speaking to them, promising that they would return again to the Land and the blessings of Choosing LIFE (Deuteronomy 30.19 ) if they returned in their hearts to the LORD. In exile Isaiah had written

Comfort, comfort my people,

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her

that her hard service has been completed,

that her sin has been paid for…. (40.1-2)

So now they were back, forgiven? Restored? The expectation was of a glorious new time of blessing and peace, prosperity and but the reality was rather different.  They were back in the Land but once again and God was about to build them together as they built.  They were no longer part of a powerful people – think about all the slaves Solomon used to build the temple – instead it was family by family who rebuilt the wall and what they built certainly didn’t seem to be the New Jerusalem prophesied in Ezekiel and Isaiah. It was not about being a powerful people, it was about being dependent on a powerful, loving Father God.  It wasn’t about their name and glory (which like all of us, they were very keen on), it was about HIS.  And this complete misunderstanding of their Father’s love

‘I have loved you’ says the LORD

‘But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’  (1.2) Their expectation of what that meant had created a resentment just as strong and as misplaced as the resentment of their ancestors back in Egypt.  This book is about God reminding them of his love, his power and the blessings of relationship with Him.  ‘You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD, even beyond the borders of Israel’ (1.5)



‘It’s all about You, Jesus, and all this is for You, for Your Glory and Your Fame.

It’s not about me, as if You would do things my way,

You alone are God, and I surrender, to Your ways.’             Paul Oakley

March 2018
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