Monday, November 5, 2012

Always by my side

I’m almost finished with a four week series at my church on the book of Malachi, and to say the least it’s been an interesting series. 

Malachi means “my message” and as we’ve been working through it we’ve been realizing that the message that Malachi delivers is a blatantly harsh message to an unbelievably numb group of people who really should have known better.

God responds to their “garbage giving attitude” with a declaration that He wants their very best not left-overs and worse than second best that they’ve been bringing. Then, in Malachi 2, we’re introduced to a group of leaders that definitely exhibited conduct unbecoming to their profession. 

And, they did it with an air of flippant invincibility. They exhibited some fatal flaws that lead to their spiritual decline and the one that starts off the whole slide is that fact that they dishonored God’s holiness. Malachi 2:2  says…
If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.

These priests no longer honored God, which means that they didn’t consider Him to be weighty or heavy. Since they didn’t honor God they didn’t bother listening to Him, which means they didn’t “hear intelligently with the implication of obedience.” We know from chapter one that they didn’t honor God because they were giving Him garbage for sacrifices.

To not honor, respect, serve and obey God is bad enough but the part that really nails it for me with these guys is that even when directly approached with a rebuke from God Himself, they still Yawned in the face of Yahweh…that’s unbelievable to me.

The term that God uses to refer to Himself is “Lord Almighty” four times in this brief passage, and when we understand what He’s saying I think it makes their complacency, lethargy and utter disdain for the Lord even more disgraceful.

The Lord Almighty is the strongest possible title that He can use to communicate that He is “the self-existent One with a Host of Angelic Armies” ready to do His bidding. Think about that, Angelic armies on stand-by just waiting to carry out judgement at God’s command. That’s an awesome image to me!

But they didn’t care. They were bored with it all.  And yet, because of God’s love and grace, He offers them a chance to return. If they give glory to God and set their hearts to honor His holy name, He will unleash His blessings.

You know that same truth is alive and well in our world as well. God wants our full devotion because we want to not because we have to, He is just waiting to pour out His blessings on His people.
The fact that God has an angel army is a pretty cool thought, and as I do some reflection into how I honor or sometimes dishonor God with my attitudes and actions I’m so thankful for the love, grace and mercy of the Almighty Commander in Chief.

He’s so worthy of my praise and devotion and I never want to get to the point where he needs to give me a wake-up call and remind me that He is Lord Almighty with angelic armies on stand-by!

I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful that the God of Angel armies is always by my side!

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