Most of the Old Testament prophets lived and prophesied in days of political upheaval and change. Malachi, on the other hand, lived in an uneventful waiting period when God seemed to have forgotten His people who were enduring poverty and foreign domination in the little province of Judah. He seemed to have forgotten His promises.
Reading through Malachi made me think of one of my favourite sayings about our spiritual lives: It's a long obedience in the same direction.
The Israelites had to take the long view. They had to choose, generation after generation, to stay the course and wait faithfully for God to fulfill His promises. Their waiting wasn't measured in weeks, months or even years - it was measured in centuries. Read the first few verses of Malachi and you'll get a sense of how waiting for God was feeling to them. ("Really? How have you loved us?")
There is so much hidden treasure and hope for us to find in the book of Malachi. I know you're going to be encouraged by the God who is always faithful and does what He says He will do. And I am also praying for all of us to be encouraged in our own long obedience in the same direction.
To get ready, read these two verses and remember that there were 400 years between them:
- Malachi 3:1
- Matthew 11:10
See you Sunday,