Bible Reading for SEP30: Malachi

Malachi means “my messenger.” The prophecy of
Malachi emphasizes the Day of the Lord, with its
judgment of the wicked and the deliverance of a
righteous remnant from the sinful mass of people. His
immediate message deals with the sins of the priests
and the people of his day. These sins form the
background for his prophecies of judgment, certain to
fall in the future.

In chapter 1 he points out contempt for the
Temple sacrifices; in chapter 2 the unholy marriages
with heathen nations. The priests were to blame for
this situation, for they had allowed the people to
enter into these unholy unions and had performed the
marriages for them. It was no small thing to be a
priest, for this was a gracious gift of God.

Verses 5-7 of chapter 2 describe the ideal
priest. He fears the Lord and obeys Him; he receives
His Word and teaches it; he lives what he teaches; and
he seeks to refrain from sin. But the priests of
Malachi’s day actually led the people astray and
defiled the holy covenant. What did God say concerning
their sin? “I will curse your blessings.” This ties in
with Malachi 3:9 and the lack of giving tithes and
offerings. Because of the people failing to give, and
because of the priests’ sinful ways, God cursed their
crops. The people were poor and did not bring their
offerings to the priests; therefore, the priests went
hungry.

God’s people never gain by doing wrong. God has
a perfect plan for our lives, if we will only submit
ourselves to Him. Too many Christians today are guilty
of taking things into their own hands. They are not
willing to wait patiently upon the Lord.

In chapter 3 God gives instructions concerning
tithes and offerings. The people had disobeyed God in
this matter and when they were not faithful in their
giving they not only robbed God, but they also robbed
themselves. Why? Because God punished them by
withholding rain for their crops. Of course, tithing is
not making a bargain with God, because the first 10%
already belongs to Him. But it is robbery when we do
not give Him the first 10%, and we will be punished for
it. Tithing is a blessed privilege, and God has
promised to bless and take care of those who are
faithful in their stewardship to Him. Certainly God is
not bankrupt. He wants our tithes and offerings as
expressions of our faith and love to Him. When a
believer’s love for Jesus Christ grows, it always shows
forth in his stewardship. Malachi closes his message
with some wonderful promises to the faithful (chapters
3:16–4:6).



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