HAVE you ever prayed and asked God for something, and then felt like heaven was closed and all its occupants had gone on holiday? In contrast, the book of Malachi explodes with God speaking through the prophet, to His people.
Malachi rips through the religiosity of the day and brings revelation that God is not interested in vain repetitions and external symbols of love, but He is interested in a people who are thirsty, drawing from His well of living water each moment of the day so that they live their lives in accordance to His Word.
Like a judge in a courtroom, He puts the people of Israel on trial. He lists out seven questions that they ask Him and He responds to each one with the tender love of the Father, calling them to repentance.
1) Hast thou loved us? Malachi 1:2. The people of Israel had denied God’s love. They asked for proof of His love. God responds by reminding them that He chose Jacob over Esau, that He protected them and that He has blessed them. They did not need more proof of His love than the covenant that God had made with them.
2) How have we despised Thy name? Malachi 1:6. God tells the people that a son honors his father and a servant honors his master, but they (people of Israel), do not honor Him. They called Him ‘Father’ and ‘Master’, but they didn’t treat Him with the respect due Him.
3) How have we polluted Thee? Malachi 1:7. The priests had defiled God’s table by offering sacrifices that were blemished and useless to them. The Israelites brought blind, crippled and sick animals for sacrifice, a gift that even the local governor would not accept or be pleased with. This was in direct contradiction to God’s guidelines. Yet the people expected the King of Kings to be pleased with their offering.
4) Wherein have we wearied Thee? Malachi 2:17. God tells the people that they have wearied Him with their words. Our God hears every word we speak and knows our every thought. The people of Israel did not please Him in their thoughts and their words.
5) Wherein shall we return? Malachi 3:7. God says that the people have turned away from His decrees and He is calling them to return to Him.
6) How have we robbed Thee? Malachi 3:8. God tells the people that they have robbed Him, by not bringing their whole tithes and offerings to Him.
7) How have we spoken against Thee? Malachi 3:13. God tells the people that they have said harsh things to Him. They complained about God. God’s justice was defamed.
We cannot please God with our sacrifices and with our religious practices for our righteousness is like filthy rags before Him. But when we hunger and thirst for Him, and our heart is steadfastly set on worshipping Him, we please Him.
God is not impressed by the magnitude of our gift to Him, but He is impressed by the magnitude of our love for Him as we walk in the principles He has laid out for us. What are those principles? That we show our honor for God, not just in attending Church on a Sunday, or reading the Bible occasionally, but through living out our lives in accordance to His Word. Let us bring every aspect of our lives under His authority and let Him have His way in every part of our life.