Todays readings.. Job 40, Malachi 2, Revelation 19&20
After Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament was written, there was silence; no inspired message from God until John the Baptist came on the scene 400 years or so later. No wonder John attracted so much attention.
Through Malachi God again predicted the coming of Jesus, his special messenger, but Jesus states that John had also been predicted [Luke 3 v.15] in the words we will read in Malachi 3 v.1, “Behold I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me.”
Malachi’s message, like those of many prophet’s before him, fell on deaf ears. The religious leaders, the Levites, were misrepresenting God. “You have wearied the LORD with your words” he tells them. They ask, “How have we wearied him?” His response was , “By saying everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them.” [Ch.2 v.17] How could they say that? Well we can see today how much “whitewash’ is painted over ways of living that God declares is wrong.
By representing God as being merciful, by twisting the application of the Law almost no matter how they lived the religious leaders in the time of Jesus were also misrepresenting God. Finally, a terrible judgement fell of them. What about today? There is a near silence in the established churches about the latter day warnings in God’s word. Malachi’s warnings apply to today when we read, “behold the day is coming , burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming will set them ablaze.” [Ch.4 v.1]
In contrast, how wonderful is the other side of the message! Let’s make sure we fix the gaze of our thinking on the other side,, “for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall arise ….” [v.2]
Malachi mentions the book of life of which we read in Revelation today (20 v.12). Malachi calls it a book of remembrance and writes, “”Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them … “[3 v.16-17] Let us live so we become one of God’s treasured possessions.