Bible Order: Revelation 16–22
Chronological Order: Revelation 16–22
New Testament Only: Revelation 22
Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord
Well, congratulations guys! You did it! You read through the entire Old Testament this year! Well done. Some of you may not have been able to read every day. You may have gotten way behind. I know in many of my previous attempts to read through the Bible in a year I would get behind and never catch up. The thing is I never quit trying to create a daily habit of reading the Bible every day and I hope you won’t quit either.
Join me as we read through the Bible again in 2014. The reading plan won’t officially begin until January 6th. I will offer other reading plans that begin January 1st if you prefer to do one of those. January 1-5 I will send you small snippets of Scripture to contemplate as we wind up for kick-off on the 6th. I’ll also use those days to cover good fundamentals of Bible reading and study. Brothers, please don’t stop trying to develop a daily time of Bible reading. This is a basic spiritual discipline that must be part of a Christians life if he intends to continue to mature in Christ. This is a lifelong daily practice. Don’t quit.
Now to our last Bible reading for the year. Malachi had some important things for the men of God to hear. Listen to this:
Malachi 2:13-16 ESV
“13 And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
God despises faithlessness. He despises it when committed against Him, and He despises it when committed against the woman to whom you were joined. God despises divorce. So many folks justify their divorce as being best for the kids. The studies are in and that excuse is proven to be a load of hog-wash. Kids are scarred by divorce; they carry that open wound with them for the rest of their lives. The grown-ups carry their open wound for the rest of their lives as well. If you care about your kids you love your wife more than yourself; you put her before yourself. I know that can be hard but no one ever said being a godly man was easy. Divorce may seem easy but that is an illusion. Divorce is harder than love.
Malachi 2:17 ESV
“17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
This verse really stood out to me. Many in our world today call good bad and bad good. They make a world of suffering and pain by their evil choices and then ask “where is the God of justice?” Justice is coming my friends. Let not mercy be misconstrued as lacking in justice. People get ready. Justice is coming soon!
Malachi 3:8-12 ESV
“8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.”
Ouch! Old Malachi just keeps hitting us between the eyes; one good jab after another. Do you tithe? God is not giving you wiggle room here. He says that lacking in the tithe is stealing from Him. I have always thought that stealing was a bad idea, but of all from whom you might steal, God would be the last one on my list! He makes it clear that blessings and curses are wrapped up in our decisions on tithing.
Malachi brings down the curtain on the Old Testament. He is the last in a long succession of prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah. In fact, if we were to go back one thousand years before Malachi and then come down through the centuries, we would find that God was increasing the tempo of telling the people about the coming of the Messiah. And the last voice is that of this man Malachi. I like to think of him as a sort of radio announcer for the Lord. It is as if he were saying, “The next voice you hear will be John the Baptist four hundred years from now.” Well, four hundred years is a long time to wait for station identification!
… There is some difference of opinion about the time at which Malachi wrote. The date that I suggest is 397 b.c., which is probably a late date. It is the belief of conservative scholars today that Malachi prophesied in the last part of the fifth century. That would be near 397 b.c. but somewhat earlier than that. The important thing is that Malachi was the prophet at the time of Nehemiah as Haggai and Zechariah were the prophets at the time of Zerubbabel and Joshua. This man Malachi concluded the prophetic books as Nehemiah concluded the historical books of the Old Testament. He probably prophesied during the time of Nehemiah’s governorship or immediately afterwards.
I. The Love of God for Israel, Chapter 1:1–5
II. The Priests Reproved for Profanity, Chapters 1:6–2:9
III. The People Rebuked for Social Sins, Chapter 2:10–17
IV. The Prediction of the Two Messengers, Chapter 3:1–6
V. The People Rebuked for Religious Sins, Chapter 3:7–18
VI. The Prediction of the Day of the Lord and of the Sun of Righteousness Who Ushers It In, Chapter 4
McGee, J. V. (1997). Thru the Bible commentary (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(A portion of this post was originally posted on 9/29/10)