Morning Musing: Malachi 3:6

“Because I, the Lord, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, we talked about the fact that when God comes, it will be for judgment. More than that, He will serve as both the judge and the star witness for the prosecution. We talked through the various injustices against which He will serve as a witness. It all ultimately directed us to three points, I said. The first point was that getting religion wrong invariably leads to getting issues of justice wrong. There is a direct connection from one to the other. The second point was that this whole trial scene in v. 5 was fundamentally unjust because there was no one to speak on behalf of the accused. That led us to a third point…which we are going to talk about this morning.

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Digging in Deeper: Malachi 3:5

“‘I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the hired worker, the widow, and the fatherless; and against those who deny justice to the resident alien. They do not fear me,’ says the Lord of Armies.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What kinds of things beat near to the heart of God? That’s a much bigger question than it might sound at first hearing. At least, it’s a much bigger question if it matters to you at all to care about the same kinds of things God cares about. It is certainly a subject that has been the focus of much tension in the church over the years. Whole religious movements within the church have been built around one person or another’s idea of what matters most to God. Well, while that question doesn’t have anything like a quick, easy answer, verses like this one in Malachi give us a pretty good clue of at least one thing that really matters to Him.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:1-2a

“‘See, I am going to send my messenger, and he will clear the way before me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple, the Messenger of the covenant you delight in — see, he is coming,’ says the Lord of Armies. But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will be able to stand when he appears?” (CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Be careful what you wish for. Ever been told that? It’s an admonition often given to folks who are seeking something whose reception they haven’t really thought through in all the detail it warrants. The kick is, they don’t always know it. Thus, someone wiser, someone who has perhaps already experienced the thing being sought, offers this caution. The one doing the seeking doesn’t often like to hear this, but it is wisdom worth heeding all the same. Here in Malachi, God is offering the people this very caution. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 13:1

“On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the residents of Jerusalem, to wash away sin and impurity.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do you behave toward your kids and make the decisions you do when they have done something wrong? “Because they’ve done something wrong,” you might be tempted to answer quickly. Yes, but why? What is the goal of your actions and decisions? Is it punishment? Retribution? Revenge? Sometimes that seems to be the intended goal of God’s actions and declarations in response to sin in the prophets. But here, Zechariah points us to something even better in His crosshairs: restoration.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 11:16

“I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for those who are perishing, and he will not seek the lost or heal the broken. He will not sustain the healthy, but he will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hooves.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

History matters. An adage that has become a cliché over time is if we do not study history, then we are doomed to repeat it. The idea is that if we do not make ourselves conspicuously aware of the mistakes we have made in the past, then we are likely to make the same ones again when given the chance. That may be a cliché, but it’s still true. This kind of thing is what God seems to have in mind here.

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