I have recently been reading through the book of Malachi in my personal devotions. I wanted to capture some of my thoughts and share them with you.
One of the main issues in chapter one, if not the whole book of Malachi, is the fact that the Name of the Lord was being tarnished by the attitudes and actions of the Israelites.
The Lord’s name is to be; honored (v6), revered (v.6), great (11) and awesome (14) among the nations. Israel was despising (6,7,) not respecting the Lord’s name with their attitudes as they made sacrifices personally. Israel was profaning (12) the name of the Lord in ways that others, outside Israel could see instead not lifting up the name of the Lord, raising His name high (11,1 4) as a testimony to bring others to worship the Lord.
It is easy to read much of the Old Testament passages a little bit detached. It happened so long ago and some of what is spoken of is so far from what we experience today, animal sacrifices and such. The danger with that is to miss WHAT is being addressed. What is being addressed is just as relevant for us today as it was when the book of Malachi was written.
The Lord’s name demands our respect, honor. He demands respect not only in what we say, especially when we meet to worship corporately, but equally important is our attitude and actions the rest of the week. I am not talking about legalist actions of doing something the “right” or “Christian” way.
What we believe directs what we do. In Romans 12:1-2, God through the Apostle Paul exhorts followers of Christ to present themselves as living sacrifices to God. No longer can we detach ourselves from the Old Testament and say, we don’t do animal sacrifices so this is not relevant for me and my life today.
I have been thinking over this chapter for the past month and I have been asking myself:
- “How does this look in my life?” “How can I live this out?
- “How can this concept of honoring, respecting and giving the Lord what is due him be communicated to others effectively?“
- “How can I demonstrate this verbally and nonverbally with people who are far from God?”
- “How can I encourage others to do this as well?”
How would answer these questions? What other questions does this make you think of?