Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Like the Chronicles books, Malachi feels a bit like revision.

It’s the final book of the Old Testament and, to me, seems to recap the lessons that I’ve learnt and the theories that I’ve been developing over the past dizzying month of reading these things in one sitting each.

1. To turn away from one’s sins, one must by definition turn towards God. This necessitates my making him more important than everything else in my life. If something else was of greater importance to me, then following God could not save me from that. I would turn away from God and follow that instead.

"When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?" says the LORD. "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is to be feared among the nations.

- Malachi 1:13b-14 (NIV)

Other nations serve their king instead of God. That didn’t work for them, and hasn’t worked for this one. Kings did however give the people a great concept of how God should be thought of. (like a king)

2. God’s chosen people are everyone, not just the political nation called Israel / Judah.

My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.

- Malachi 1:11 (NIV)

3. God rewards for good actions, and disciplines for bad. It’s up to us.

"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."

- Malachi 4:5-6 (NIV)

4. People didn’t understand the difference between right and wrong very well. This was a hard concept for mankind to learn.

I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

- Malachi 3:17b-18 (NIV)


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