Malachi 3:8 – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Not all truth is positive, and the book of Malachi is a perfect example. There are certain truths that are a burden that must be borne. If ignored, these things destroy, and this fact only adds to the weight of these truths. “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18). No wonder age brings gray hair.
With all this sad rhetoric, why should we want wisdom? It’s simple. Foolishness is worse. Ignorance is only bliss in Paradise, and we do not live in Paradise (at least not yet). Therefore we must face the darkness armed with the Word of God and armored by Faith and Goodness. We can take heart in the faithfulness of Jesus as well as His apostles and prophets. If they can overcome, then we can too.
Malachi was a prophet during a dark time in the history of Israel, and He his book begins with the words, “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi” (Malachi 1:1). The Word that God shared with Malachi was doomed to inflame and irritate. He was attacking the highest levels of Jewish society with a scathing critique, and we know how such actions are often received.
The Jews in Malachi’s day were grossly negligent in performing their duties to the Temple through tithes and sacrifices. The priests and Levites depended upon the people bringing these things to feed their families. The priests were also guilty of defrauding God of the reverence due Him, and thus a downward spiral of ungodliness ensued. The nation had forgotten holiness, and instead they robbed God of reverence, offerings, and worship. Darkness followed.
Because the people did not heed the words of the prophet, the next five centuries were filled with war, bondage, deprivation and confusion. All the while God looked on in silence. No prophet arose until John the Baptist to declare the way of the Lord.
Let us heed the Word of the Lord while there is time. He is not slack concerning His promises. Can we say the same? What pledges have you made to the Lord that stand unfulfilled? Return to Him now and rejoice in His mercy and grace. The Truth may sometimes bring sadness, but the sun always rises. The Son always rises.