I’ve been reading two Old Testament books in recent weeks; Deuteronomy and Malachi. And it has occurred to me, if the Jewish people had listened to the instructions of Moses in Deuteronomy and diligently obeyed them & passed them on through the generations, the bleak situation depicted in Malachi may have never happened.
Here’s what I mean. In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the people before their entrance into Canaan across the Jordan. God had promised the land to them, but a whole generation had failed in their loyalty to God. Now another generation stood in position to cross over and occupy the promised land.
Moses, about to die and unable to cross, wanted to remind the people of their covenant with God, and all the compliance with divine law they had pledged to.
At the core of this obedience there needed to be their love for God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
This love for God would compel and produce the obedience to God’s law that would keep them in fellowship with God.
Now turn to Malachi (the end of the Old Testament era). The people were not listening to God’s Word; the priests were bringing polluted offerings; leaders were not being willing to be led by the Lord; God was being robbed; marriages and families were left in ruin; some were even claiming it was useless to serve God. The only hope at the end of Malachi is, that John the Baptist would come and “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.”
From this may we learn – be clear that you really love God; use Scripture to check and test your loyalty to Him; be informed by Scripture and motivated by this basic love for your Father.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deut. 6:5)
By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 20.12; December 2013