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 3:2b-4

“For he will be like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s bleach. He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord as in days of old and years gone by.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you want your children to be happy or good? Of course, as parents we want both. But the reality is that we very often have to choose one or the other. The reason is fairly simple. Happy is a feeling and good is a character. What makes them happy in the moment may very well come into direct conflict with what will train them to be good in the long term. That is, the two are often mutually exclusive of one another in any given moment because of the tension between what they want and what they should have. God understands this too, and His preference is always for good. The result is just what Malachi describes here.

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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: Malachi 2:17

“You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied him?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does what is evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and he is delighted with them, or else where is the God of justice?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have your kids ever worn you out? If you are a parent, then the answer to that question is almost assuredly a resounding, “Yes!” That’s just part of the journey of parenthood. The older kids get, the more they begin to look for ways they can assert their growing sense of independence. Unfortunately, that sense of independence does not develop as fast as a spirit of wisdom and discernment regarding the prudence of the choices they make. That is, they may think they’re good, but they still need their parents for guidance and direction. This, of course, creates a tension that can be pretty draining. Well, if you are a parent who has felt this before, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. Not only are there other parents who feel the same way from time to time, but so does your heavenly Father.

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