AN UNCHANGING GOD
Father, I thank you for teaching me from your Word today. May all I do today be pleasing in your sight.
Read MALACHI 3:6-18
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The Faithful Remnant
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
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Reflect‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Amen.’
Living through global crises, whether a COVID pandemic, natural disasters, racial injustice, or widespread poverty, is challenging. Being confident in an unchanging God enables us to look forward with hope. In this passage, Israel is experiencing crisis; despite returning from exile, rebuilding the temple, they continue to live under Persian domination. The people are cynical and disillusioned. A crisis brings uncertainty and presents a turning point, a moment of crucial decision-making. Israel could choose to return to God, to live in accordance with the law, following him, whatever their circumstances – God promises this would bring them blessing (vs 10-12).
Instead, they choose to blame God, becoming arrogant and self-centered (vs 13-15). They can’t look past their own misfortunes. Ignoring the truth that everything comes from God, they refuse to tithe according to the law and complain that serving God is like being in mourning. Unrepentant they live outside the joy, blessing and promises of God.
I love that we’re told that those who remain faithful, trusting God through this time of crisis, talk with one another (v 16). It’s so important to share stories of faith, encouraging each other about our unchanging God. It’s not always easy, but when we choose to follow Jesus, he listens, watches over us with compassion, and names us as his treasured possession.
Jesus says: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10). What does this mean for you?
Generous God, grant me joy as I seek to become a good steward of all that you have entrusted to me.
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