Today I used my ability to switch books again and ended up in the book of Malachi. In this brief message God brings 4accusations against his people:
1. They are offering defiled sacrifices.
After spending so much time in the Old Testament lately, this is pretty horrifying to be honest. There was a time where kings and prophets offered hundreds of animals to the Lord, and did so joyfully! David and Solomon are some great examples. To see that the people clearly no longer offer their sacrifices with joy but merely out of duty is devastating.
2. The priests have left God’s path.
God specifically accuses the Levites of no longer serving Him with reverence- and thus passing that lack of reverence to the people. He says that the Levites “…have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.” (Malachi 1:9b). Their actions are leading the people into sin, and God demands that they stop.
3.They are unfaithful.
This accusation addresses the husbands and wives of Judah. God accuses them of marrying women who serve idols, and divorcing their wives. As a result the Lord declares that he is not going to accept their offerings.
4. They are robbing God of the tithes and offerings due Him.
Again, after reading so much in the Old Testament lately this is really disappointing. According to the Law every feast has a different purpose and required offerings. God uses these offering for many things- to give the people a way to demonstrate their faith and love for him, as an atonement for sin and as a way to provide for his priests. God promises to bring them into abundance if they just start obeying his commands again!
It all sounds pretty grim- except for promise God included in chapters 3 and 4. He says:
“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heavens Armies.- Malachi 3:1
They don’t know it, but Jesus is coming! And as I look at this list of accusations I am fully aware that God could lay these same things and more at the churches feet- but the promise of Malachi still applies to us!
Jesus is coming.
Tomorrow, I’ll be headed back to Deuteronomy. See you then!