An oracle: The Word of the Lord for Israel through Malachi. Malachi 1:1
We’re not told who Malachi was, other than the fact that he was God’s spokesman. While it would be interesting to read some of his history, there is no personal profile more note-worthy than being called “God’s messenger.”
After seventy years of captivity, the children of Israel were back in their own land. Finally! It didn’t take long however, for them to begin to take God less seriously. They lived with careless abandon; following God when it was convenient and ignoring His commands when He required sacrifice and obedience. Maybe they were tired of waiting for the Messiah. (It would be another 445 years before Jesus would be born.) It’s possible that their trust in God’s ability to keep His promises was wearing thin. Perhaps they felt forgotten and unloved. Their issues were not unlike those I am tempted to wrestle with today. The hard truth is that sometimes God’s promises are not realized in our lifetime.
- Revival in our nation may not occur until my great grandchildren are raising their families.
- Great spiritual awakening among those I love may not take place until I am absent from this earth.
- Jesus may not come back to rapture His church for another hundred years.
What I feel God has promised, I often expect to see fulfilled when I decide it’s time. Receiving the promise is exhilarating and I find that I can be patient for a while before my angst with God begins to surface. Then, questions of God’s faithfulness emerge.
“Did I hear wrong? Maybe God changed His mind. He must be fickle. What’s the use of staying faithful? I may never even live to see this come to pass!”
What I fail to remember is that there are rewards for keeping my heart engaged. When I cling to God’s faithfulness and trust in His promises, my heart knows a peace and confidence that this world cannot mimic nor manufacture. Malachi set out to reprove Israel for their disobedience, but His words didn’t end there. Since He was the last prophet before the birth of Christ, he speaks more clearly of the Messiah than any of His predecessors. His descriptions of Jesus will be rich to ponder. That’s good. My expectations are high.
Jesus, would You convey to Malachi that his obedience as Your messenger touches me today? His words aren’t just dusty renderings from an ancient prophet. Thank him for listening to Your voice. As you do that, I take great joy in knowing that the kingdoms of heaven and earth have coincided at this very moment. Amen