Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Malachi-Second hand Gifts

By Mary Vee
Malachi 1

From Malachi's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Malachi.

I haven't bothered to leave any information about myself in the Bible book that records what God has asked me to do. I didn't leave clues about the job I had before this time or after, my family, or where I lived because none of that had anything to do with the job God gave me.

Even the name I am called has a purpose. Malachi means messenger.

God sent me to deliver a message to the Jews. About twenty years have gone by since the time of Esther. The Jews had a time of peace.

During this time we all should have joyfully spent time praising the God who spared our lives and led a large group of Jews back to our homeland.

Sadly, this was not done. 

Those living in Babylon went about their lives, making bread, growing crops, getting married and having children for a new generation. Those who moved back to Jerusalem first focused on rebuilding their homes. After they had their basic needs met, did they rebuild the temple or the walls of the city? No. They only cared about themselves and stopped worshipping the God who'd given them so much.

The first words of this message from God to His people were: "I have loved you."

We the people have said by our actions, "How have you loved us, Lord?" How could the Jewish people have forgotten so quickly? This is sad. We should not treat the God of the Universe this way.

Our Creator God answered, "I have loved you, my chosen nation and have turned the mountains of those who do not believe in Me into wasteland where the desert animals have come to live.

"Israel's enemies, those who have not worshiped me, have boldly said they would rebuild their flattened cities. And they may try. But I will destroy their new cities. They will be a people always under my anger. You will see this, people of Israel. Even beyond the borders of your land.

And even with all that the Almighty God has done for us, we have not given Him the respect and honor due to our Heavenly Father. God said, "A son honors his father, and a servant honors his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?"

While we all needed to hear these next words, God said to the temple leaders and priests, "It is you, O priests, who shown complete disrespect for my name. You ask in your minds, how have you done this. By offering to me the very worst. By accepting and teaching my people that they may bring the least of what they own as a way to worship me.

"Let me ask you," God said, "Would you or any of my people offer these same gifts to your governor? Would he be pleased with you or your gift? Would he accept you?

"And you expect me to be pleased with you because of the second hand gifts you and my people bring to me?" Why not just shut the temple door? Why pretend to give me worship and thanks? I am not pleased with you. I will not accept any offering from your hands.

"Know this, temple leaders and priests, My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every nation, pure offerings will be brought to my name because my name will be great in each place."

sources: New International Version, New King James Version  

1. This was a time of __________
2. What were the people who returned to Jerusalem and those still living in Babylon doing?
3  Who did God send to bring this message?
4. What were God's first words of this message?
5. Did the people seem to care?
6. What did the priests teach the people they could do? 
7. Why was this wrong?

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