Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 2012 … He Is Coming (Again!)

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 273

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Malachi, Chapters 1-4 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Malachi 1: 6-9; 13-14 : [NLT] … {Malachi became God’s prophet to Jerusalem after the rebuilding of the Temple and walls. He was the prophet to Jerusalem who brought the news of the coming Messiah. But he also brought a message of chastisement to God’s people, especially the priests who had distorted worship practices from those called forth by God in His word.} 6 The LORD Almighty says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. I am your father and master, but where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have despised my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever despised your name?’ 7 “You have despised my name by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. “Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?’” You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the LORD Almighty. 9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the LORD Almighty. … 13 You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at his commands,” says the LORD Almighty. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and mutilated, crippled and sick—presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the LORD. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is feared among the nations! 
Highlight Passage: Malachi 2: 1-2; 7-9; 14-16 : [NLT] … {Being God’s Priest is serious business; and now we must realize that we Christians are part of God’s Royal Priesthood.} 1 “Listen, you priests; this command is for you! 2 Listen to me and take it to heart. Honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning seriously. … 
7 The priests’ lips should guard knowledge, and people should go to them for instruction, for the priests are the messengers of the LORD Almighty. 8 But not you! You have left God’s paths. Your ‘guidance’ has caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the LORD Almighty. 9 “So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown partiality in your interpretation of the law.” … 
14 You cry out, “Why has the LORD abandoned us?” I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows. 15 Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want; … Godly children from your union? So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 16 “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” 
Highlight Passage: Malachi 3: 1-3; 6-9 : [NLT] … {Refiner’s fire from The Messiah.} … 1 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD Almighty. 2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes. 3 He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. … 
6“I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my laws and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’” You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.”  
Highlight Passage: Malachi 4: 1-6 : [NLT] … {Malachi’s prophesy of the coming Messiah would be the last from God’s anointed/chosen prophets for 400 years until the coming of John the Baptist as a Prophet representing “Elijah,” and heralding the coming of THE ONE who would save the world.} 1 The LORD Almighty says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. The arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw on that day. They will be consumed like a tree—roots and all. 2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the LORD Almighty. 4 “Remember to obey the instructions of my servant Moses, all the laws and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel. 5 “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of parents£ to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.” 

My Journal for Today: Wow! Reading all of the Book of Malachi, the last of the Prophets in the Old Testament, is my assigned reading from my chronological trek through the Bible this year. Where does one begin to journal about the life application of Malachi’s writings?

From Chapters 1 and the outset of Chapter 2, I could write about how God’s leaders, primarily the Priesthood in Malachi’s day [see Malachi 1: 6, bold/underlined above] who fallen in their modeling of God’s righteousness and in the teaching of God’s real truth from His word. That subject matter would certainly be pertinent in today’s world with so many of God’s representative church Elders, Pastors, Priests, and Ministers dropping like flies in the spiritual warfare of the day.

From Chapter 2, I could journal about the social issue of divorce, which has become an unGodly plague in our culture today; and God’s word weighs in heavily and clearly from Malachi that “God hates divorce!” [see Malachi 2: 16 … underlined in bold above].

Or, I could discuss that controversial issue of tithing from Chapter 3 of Malachi’s journal, where God seems to be strongly chastising the people of Malachi’s day that they were robbing God by not bringing their tithes into God’s storehouse (see the underlined passage above from Malachi 3: 8-9). Should we feel led by God to tithe in today’s church, … a most pertinent focus of journaling, would it not be?

All of those options would be great topics for journaling, for sure, with very pertinent modern-day application. And my Parson’s commentary, which I use almost daily in my Bible studies, says the following about the Book of Malachi: ” Malachi gives us practical guidelines about commitment to God: God deserves the best we have to offer (1:7-10). We must be willing to change our wrong ways of living (2:1, 2). We should make our family a lifelong priority (2:13-16). We should be sensitive to God’s refining process in our life (3:3). We should tithe our income (3:8-12). There is no room for pride (3:13-15).”

However, when one meditates on the book of Malachi and looks for the #1 topic of application, I think one has to concentrate on all of Chapter 4, which I’ve copied above, as the focus of emphasis; because this last Prophet in the Old Testament, clearly heralds a call for the people of his day and for all of us now to watch for one who would come declaring, as did a previous the Prophet, Elijah, the coming Messiah.

And we, in these New Covenant times, as documented by the New Testament, into which I’ll be venturing very soon, certainly have a vision advantage over the peoples in Malachi’s day, don’t we? Yes, … for sure, we do; … because we know of the historical and well-documented events of Jesus’ day, when John The Baptist came as the “Elijah” figure about whom Malachi prophesied, as well as the Messiah, having come to us in the also well-documented life of Jesus, The Christ, and the One Whom all of the Old Testament Messianic Prophets were heralding.

Yes, Malachi called it; and we know it! … The Messiah has come; and … He is coming again!! … And so, once again, do I sense an emphatic ”Amen!” Or maybe even an exuberant …”HALLEUJAH!!!”

My Prayer Today: … Oh, yes, Lord … HALLELUJAH!!! … Amen

No comments: