When the word of the Lord came to Malachi, the Lord was affirming His love for His people. Think how you would feel if after proclaiming your love for your child, or your family and they curtly ask you; “how have you loved me?” God reminds us in this book that “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” (Malachi 1:6)
God used Malachi to admonish the priests for saying harsh things about God Almighty. The priest’s murmured that it is futile to serve God. Our Father knew that their hearts were full of remorse as they believed that they had not gained anything for carrying out His burdensome requirements.
The priests had called the arrogant more blessed as they held envy in their hearts for the prosperity of the evil doers. By harboring these regrets in their hearts, they were essentially robbing God of honor and respect. The Lord rebuked them. “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.” (Mal 2:7)
The priests had turned from the Way and by example; they caused many to stumble by violating the covenant with Levi. INSIGHT: The covenant with Levi is a reference to the covenant of the law which God made with Moses and the Israelites.
Historically, the man Levi was the third son of Jacob by his first wife Leah. (Gen. 29:31) Moses came from the tribe of Levi, and his brother Aaron was Israel’s first high priest. The Lord Almighty asks; “Have we not all One Father? Did not One God create us?” (Mal 2:10)
The description our Father gave sounds a lot like Jesus. “My covenant was with Him for life and peace, and I gave them to Him; this called for reverence and He revered Me and stood in awe of My name.” (Mal 2:5)
The priest’s false instruction wearied the Lord as they asked ‘Where is the God of justice?” God’s “messenger” shows up again in a prophesy of the coming Messiah.
“See, I will send My Messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come.” Says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 3:1)
The people’s lazy worship was reviled as mere routine, and without Spirit. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)
A few priests who feared God talked with each other as our Father listened. They wrote a scroll of remembrances of all that the Lord had done. The Lord said “They will be mine in the day when I make up my treasured possessions. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.” (Malachi 3:16-18)
INSIGHT: We who fear, respect and honor our Lord, we are His treasure! He possesses our souls, and He makes His dwelling place in our hearts. This spellbound prophet asserted the Truth.
At the end of this climatic dialogue between God and His people, there was 400 years of silence. Mankind now had time to chew on all the previous Words of God. “I have loved you,” says the Lord. ‘But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?” (Mal 1:2)
We are hemmed in the school yard of God Almighty. Let us not give Him cause to blow the whistle, or give us a long time out! “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Mal 4:5-6)
God will never abandon His people, He can be silent, but He will never leave us. His love is unchanging, and no matter how often we mess up, our Father loves His people.
Let God’s final words of the Old Testament percolate in your heart and mind. After His final word in the book of Malachi, God was silent, He did not speak again until the New Testament was written 400 years later.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
“It is finished.” 4/18/19