Study from God’s Word… Malachi, Chapters 1 – 4 … Passage for Reflection: Malachi 1: 12 – 13 … NIV 12 "But you profane it by saying of the Lord's table, 'It is defiled,' and of its food, 'It is contemptible.' 13 And you say, 'What a burden!' and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the LORD Almighty.
My Journal for Today: May I intervene here by telling you a brief personal remembrance. When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher, Mrs. Rex, used a technique to help us remember “the rules,” … i.e., those things which we were taught to protect our well being and help us grow in character. When we transgressed “the rules,” Mrs. Rex would march us into the clothes closet; and as we passed her, she would plant one brief, humiliating swat on our butts with a ping-pong paddle. So, at various times when she picked up her paddle, we knew what was about to happen; and someone was about to march to the clothes closet and be “reminded” of what righteousness was all about. Oh, how we hated that ping-pong paddle and that clothes closet. But invariably, though we knew “the rules,” we would forget and someone would be humiliated; … and I’m afraid I had my share of trips to the closet and pops with the paddle on my rear end, helping me to learn the right way to act in class.
I bring this up because I personally view some of the mornings I come to this, my quiet “closet,” for morning devotionals in the light of that little story I’ve just related. Interesting that the name of my Kindergarten Teacher was "REX," the Latin word for “King;” because some mornings here in my quiet time, my Lord, The King of kings, takes me to task, sending me to my own “clothes closet” with a rap on my emotional derriere with some of the devotionals I’m led to study and upon which I’m led to meditate from God’s word. And this morning is one of those.
And here we are, in this study of the Book by Malachi’s name; and I’m reminded of my own laxity and unwillingness to honor God and His Covenant with His children. Like the ancient and recalcitrant Jews, I profane my worship of my Lord with overt disobedience and ill treatment of God’s recognized ways. I act in many ways in contempt of my God by the way I eat. Well, maybe not at the Lord’s Table, but certainly at any table where I eat in ways that are sinful and gluttonous in my desire to satisfy self, rather than honor my Savior. And God, through the conviction of His Holy Spirit, takes me to the “clothes closet” of humiliation and gives me a swat of direction with His paddle of truth.
This morning, I stand convicted and duly “paddled” by the recognition and realization that my attitude – at times – is no different from these ancient Hebrews who were so reticent to follow the known ways of their God, Whom is the same God I love and serve. So, this morning God is giving me, in this remembrance of my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Rex, a recognition that I need to be in a mode of humiliation and surrender; and prayerfully this will lead me to a time when I remember God’s righteous ways and honor Him with my righteous choices.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to walk in Your ways and live in Your truth. Amen