He is only the messenger.
Malachi, whose name means “My messenger” in Hebrew, was the last of the Old Testament prophets.
He is to deliver the message:
“I love you.” (Malachi 1:2)
“You have disobeyed Me by bringing me your leftovers.” (Malachi 1)
“You have a heart problem.” (Malachi 2)
“I HAVE NOT CHANGED.” –Yahweh (Malachi 3:6)
“Return to Me, and I will return to you.” (Malachi 3:7)
“Judgement day is coming.” (Malachi 4)
And then, HOPE:
“I am going to send another Messenger–the Lord, He is coming.” (Malachi 3)
Followed by 400 years of silence.
The haunting last words before the silence–a rebuke.
And the rebuke is blunt. Painful. Necessary.
This judgment on Israel was given to provide them one last opportunity to hear from God and align themselves with His plan.
In his sermon Sunday, Pastor shared the analogy of tires being out of alignment on your car. When the wheels are not properly aligned they will pull to the right or to the left. Your tires will be worn thin in the wrong places, and as a result, the pull increases and the effects intensify, until it becomes a struggle to stay on the road.
God used Malachi to warn His people that they were out of alignment. Even though Jehoshaphat was trying to follow God, he was being pulled to the right and to the left–and the path he was taking led him to compromise.
He walked in all the ways of his father Asa; he did not turn away from them but did what was right in the Lord’s sight. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. I Kings 22:43-44
Jehoshaphat’s partial obedience was disobedience. Doing what is right doesn’t cancel out our wrong. We still have consequences when we sin, and turning our wheels back toward God in repentance is the only way to get re-aligned.
History tells us that God will work out His plan–with or without us. The Messenger did come, and the good news of the gospel is that He invites us to participate with Him in His work. The key that starts the ignition is a saving faith in His Son–Jesus. Staying on the right track–godly alignment–means that faith is what keeps you going, and that following His plan is the only thing that will keep you on the right path.
The message from Malachi is for everyone, and once I receive this message,
I become the messenger.
Just as Jesus said to Paul, “I now send you to them to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified.”
I have a job to do. Will I keep the message to myself, or will I share it with others?
It is not from me,
yet it is for me.
We live in a world that, much like Israel in Malachi’s day, sees God as a cosmic Santa Claus. He’s nice. We can ask Him for stuff. “I’ll kind of obey Him” (the parts I like), “but I’m not going to take Him too seriously”.
And what does God say to that? “I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.” Malachi 2:1
I told you it was harsh. And the truth hurts sometimes, but much like surgery–it can be painful but necessary.
I have finished this last book of the Old Testament, where over five dozen prophecies were written–hundreds of years before Jesus made His entrance into the world. And every.single.one was fulfilled in Jesus, THE Messenger. His message:
A Summary of Jesus’ Mission
Then Jesus cried out, “The one who believes in Me believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. I know that His command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12
Don’t you see?
The message is about The Messenger.
THE MESSENGER IS THE MESSAGE:
It is good news!
And it’s worth telling.
***Malachi 4:2 will complete the Old Testament Scripture Memory Challenge! If you didn’t join me on the Old Testament, why not try the New Testament Scripture Memory Challenge, where I am memorizing one verse from every book in the Bible. I’d love the company and the feedback on how you are doing. Let’s encourage each other to “hide God’s Word in our heart”– #godlyalignment