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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Results of the Unfaithful

After 70 years in exile you would have thought that people would have come to their senses and be faithful to the Lord. The last book of the Old Testament tells us a different story. The people in Malachi's day treated God badly by robbing from him. They had become bored with God. Their worship had turned from relational to ritual. As a result:

They offered blemished sacrifices (1:6-14) They offered God their contempt, defiled food, blind, cripples, and diseased animals. They gave their "leftovers" instead of their best.

The priests had become unfaithful (2:1-9) They did not listen and dishonored God with  false teachings.

Divorce was commonplace and easy (2:10-17) They had broken faith and commitment with God and in their marriages.

Their words wearied God (2:17 read) They desired their own justice, and missed they always had a Just God!

Businessmen were cheating their workers, customers, widows, orphans and aliens (3:1-5).  Defrauded and oppressed those around them. There was no justice.

Before we pass judgment on this group let's look at what the New Testament has to say to us. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25