Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, was written after Israel returned from the Babylonian captivity, after the temple was rebuilt, and after joyous worship fell into complacency. Malachi addressed their spiritual indifference with the Lord’s words, “I have loved you very deeply,” but the Israelites retorted, “Really? When was this?”(1:2.TLB). Malachi then exposes their half-hearted worship to His passionate love. God required the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb for their sins, but instead they had searched through their lambs and found a flawed, lame one to offer. Their flawed lamb not only snubbed the requirement of the law, but it revealed their true heart toward God. He did not deserve their best.
In verse 17 Malachi addresses their disregard for His Lordship in their lives. “You make God tired with all your talk. ‘How do we tire him out?’ you ask. By saying, ‘God loves sinners and sin alike. God loves all.’ And also by saying, ‘Judgment? God’s too nice to judge’” (MSG). They showed their cold indifference to God’s holiness and inability to look on sin.
The Israelites grew tired of waiting on the Messiah and there would be 400 more years of silence before He came. On Christmas Day we celebrated the miracle of His birth. Today Revelations 21 tells of a new heaven and new earth where God is making “everything new” (Revelation 21:5). We are told how we will dwell with Him in a pure place where there will be no evil thoughts, or talk, or actions. Verse 16 describes the New Jerusalem as a cube. This description would have reminded the original Jewish readers of the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple that was indwelt by God’s presence. There will be no temple in the New Jerusalem because “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (v. 22).
How does this relate to us? How do we worship God? Are our minds full of next weeks’ schedule, the afternoon’s football game, or the text vibrating in our pocket? Was our offering given generously and willingly? When we sin are we repentant, or do we say with cold indifference, “Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?” Do we live with anticipation of the new heaven and earth?
Question of the day: How has the reading of the day shaken our areas of lukewarm faith?
Father, we are humbled before you. Let us not glide through the motions of being a Christ follower. Renew our passion for serving you, loving you, and honoring you.