READING: Malachi 1-4
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Do I fear God? Do I have sense of holy reverence for who He is? The book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, is a reminder — a painful one, actually — that even God’s people can lose their sense of godly fear. The result inevitably is disobedience and idolatry.
1. The priests had so lost their fear of God that they despised His name by offering Him only their “leftover” animals — those that would cost them the least.
Mal. 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of Me?” says Yahweh of Hosts to you priests, who despise My name.
2. The people turned against God when they did not fear Him, evidenced in their absolute rebellion.
Mal. 3:5 “I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny justice to the foreigner. They do not fear Me,” says the Lord of Hosts.
3. On the other hand, those who truly feared God would receive God’s blessings, and even the nations would have a healthy fear of Him.
Mal. 1:14, 4:2 “For I am a great King,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “and My name will be feared among the nations” . . . . But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.
My personal application questions are simple but penetrating ones today:
- What do I do that reveals my lack of fear of God? What sin do I cling to as if God were not the judge?
- Will the nations fear God because of my witness before them?
PRAYER: “God, increase my fear of You. May my reverence be evidenced in my obedience.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Luke 1, John 1:1-14