Heart Issue #6; Malachi 3:13-4:6

Today we look at the final heart issue of the people:

Heart issue #6 = How have we spoken against you? (. . . it is vain to serve the Lord)

They’ve just been rebuked for challenging God’s justice, and yet their hearts still believe that God is being tested by the wicked in their midst, unable to succeed against them. First they were questioning God’s justice and now they are testing His strength against mere men!

How often do we do this? He conquers in one area of our fears and so we fixate on the next!

But then we see another group arise out of the population: those who feared the Lord.

We see here that there were those amongst the population who feared God and responded to the message of the Lord through Malachi. What a joy for Malachi to see fruit from his ministry (because not all the prophets did!).

We see in these verses that a distinction is being made between the righteous and the wicked. The parallelism in 3:18 shows us who falls into which camp:

  • Righteous = the one who serves God
  • Wicked = the one who does not serve Him
A distinction will be made.

A distinction will be made.

And this comparison between the wicked and the righteous continues into chapter 4 when we look at the Day that is coming. Looking at the language we see that this is final judgementAll arrogant and evil doers will be stubblenone will be left; neither root nor branch will remain.

There will be a time of judgement on the unrighteous. God will judge between the righteous and the wicked, but in His timing, and not under the pressure of man. He is a God of Justice, and He will prevail. Until this time, the righteous are to continue in faith, trusting in God’s holiness and uprightness.

Finally, the book ends with a charge to remember the Law because God is sending Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day. What is the fulfilment of this prophesy according to the New Testament? Have a look at Matthew 17:12-13 and  Luke 1:16-17.

Elijah’s return = John the Baptist.  

This book told people: John the Baptist is coming, and then Jesus is coming. After all He’s been through with His people through the Old Testament, God ends (the Old Testament) with this final promise of Jesus coming – so get excited! John the Baptist will come, then Christ is coming to be with them.

So what is the application for today?

We have seen the coming of John the Baptist and the first coming of Christ. We know we are His treasured possession and we can have confidence for the Day of the Lord,  at His second coming. In the meantime, we are also called to continue in faithfulness with a right heart. We who know God should be motivated to serve Him.

*Serve God with a faithful heart

*Serve God with a faithful heart

Healthy Heart Habit #6 = Serve the Lord

I want you to really listen to Paul’s final charge to Timothy. Listen to it as if Paul is writing it to you:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-6)

 

*Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

Heart Issue #5; Malachi 3:6-12

In this next passage, we see the people rebuked for turning for God and His statutes. They are also robbing Him.

Heart issue #5 – the people asked: “How have we robbed you?”

They thought they were being obedient because they took their sacrifices into the Temple, but, at the same time, we’ve seen them practising:

  • social injustice (ch3) and
  • offering wrong sacrifices (ch1&2) and
  • not keeping marriage sacred (ch2).

Their heart attitude towards God was wrong! They did not care enough about Him and His ways.

Have you heard Malachi 3:9-10 before? Have you heard this passage just before the offering plate is passed around the church? I have had this especially where the “prosperity gospel” reigns. Regardless of what you’ve heard, let’s remember to be inductive as we look at this passage!

We see that they were called to bring the tithe into the storehouse. Nehemiah (10&13) also called them back to the giving of the tithe.

Let’s look at some background:

Purpose of the tithe:

Deuteronomy 14:23 . . . that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

Procedure of the tithe:

A portion of all produce from the land went to the Lord as tithe; the tithe was separate to their contributions, offerings, and sacrifices. Two out of three years, the people took their tithe to the Temple and shared it with their household and the ministers of the Temple (Levites). Every third year the tithe was collected and distributed amongst the Levite, sojourner, fatherless, and widow (the poor and needy in society who did not have their own means of provision).

Our original readers?

In light of this, we see the original readers of Malachi were being called out for: “not bringing in food to storehouse”. They were complaining that God was not living up to His proclamations of being a God of Justice and yet they were robbing the poor of God’s provision! This was not a metaphor; they were meant bring in food! Does God need food? Does He get hungry? The tithe was a provision for the poor and Levites – they were hungry! The heart of the tithe was provision.  They were using tough times as an excuse not to give; they weren’t trusting God to provide for them as they provided for others.

Hard hearts withhold wealth

Hard hearts withhold wealth

What of the tithe in the New Testament?

Nowhere is it specifically commanded to bring in a tithe. The New Testament focuses on meeting the needs of the poor, but no amount is set – rather: “everyone must give as they have decided in their hearts” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

The tithe was part of the Law, the same Law that was nailed to the cross to usher in the covenant of grace.  Paul, a devote Jew, never once mentioned tithing in his letters. The tithe was brought to the Temple and the physical Temple meant nothing to Paul after he gave his life to Christ. He began to see the reason behind the Law; that God’s heart was to provide for the poor. We see in Paul’s life that caring for the poor did matter to him! It was the “very thing he was eager to do” (Galatians 2:10). Paul’s heart for giving was massive and we are called to have this same heart to care for the least.

And today?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  (James 1:27).

Healthy Heart Habit #5 = Generosity

We are to follow Christ’s example, who gave His life; we are to give as much as we are called to give.  We are called to give to the ministers of the Gospel and to the poor. God’s grace compels us to give without thought of the amount, or the cost to ourselves! We are to give 100% of our lives to God, gladly and in obedience to His call. God demands all we are and all we have.

Giving doesn't have to be money-based. What do you have to give?

Giving doesn’t have to be money-based.
What do you have to give?

Heart Issue #4; Malachi 2:17-3:5

Half way through the text! Well done! Today we hit the fourth issue in the hearts of the returned exiles:

The people were asking: “Where is the God of Justice?”

The rest of the book deals with the God of Justice; showing that God will make a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous; those who walk in His ways and those who oppress justice.

In chapter 3, we see God answer their questions. They accused God of delighting in evil doers. Here we see how wrong they were. He answers by revealing two more messengers; the final two messengers mentioned in Malachi.

That’s about all the “free information I’m giving you today – now I’m going to ask you to be a bit more active!

First, read 3:1-4. Who is the first messenger? 

[Think through it, and jot your thought down].

This is clearly interpreted in the New Testament. See:

  • Matthew 11:10
  • Mark 1:2

What was John’s role?

 

Second, who is the Lord, the second messenger, who will come quickly to the Temple?

[Think through it, and jot your thought down].

Now see Luke 2:25-32

What was Christ’s role?

 

Note 1: A refiner’s fire led to the purifying of silver through use of a furnace’s heat.

Note 2: Soap as we know it had not been invented. Rather an alkali (made from plant ashes) was used to whiten new cloth. Fuller’s cleansed new cloth by stamping it with their feet.

So the four messengers mentioned in Malachi have now all been seen. Let’s recap quickly:

  • Malachi (1:1)
  • In relation to the priests (2:7)
  • John the Baptist – to prepare the way (3:1)
  • Messiah – messenger of the covenant, to refine and purify (3:1)

Who are the sons of Levi that Christ purifies?

 

Now see 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10.

Note 3: This passage is an example of prophetic telescoping. This simply means that one prophesy looks at a series of events that will occur. The closest, first event, gives encouragement for the later events once it is seen. In this case, John was to prepare people for Christ. Today, having seen his first coming, we can have confidence for His final coming.

  1. The first messenger is John the Baptist
  2. Then it declares Christ’s first coming, immediately after John
  3. And then it jumps ahead to Christ’s second coming when the offerings of God’s people will be brought to God in righteousness and will be pleasing to Him

So what is the application for us today?

*It's time for our heart check up

*It’s time for our heart check up

Healthy Heart Habit #4 = Seek God and His refinement

This book is a call to walk in holiness before the Lord. Let His Spirit and Word refine and mould you into His image. His Word really is a light and lamp unto our feet. Let us go on to maturity in Christ, so that we can commend ourselves just as Paul did:

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. (2 Corinthians 6:3-11)

 

*Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

Heart Issue #3b; Malachi 2:10-2:16

In Malachi, God addresses two specific issues in their marriages. The first we addressed last time, and related to foreign marriages that were leading the people into idolatry. We saw that God wants pure hearts, and pure lives.

Today, we will look at the second issue in their marriages.

We see in Malachi 2:13-16 that the people were bringing highly emotional displays before the Lord to win favour, but He says: “I’m not listening! Get your relationships right first!”

God didn’t accept their offerings because He was witness between them and their wives. Marriage is a covenant; it is sealed by God; they should have felt the weight of this. It is serious. God stands as witness in marriage; marriage is a covenant sealed before the LORD of Armies!

[PAUSE and let that sink in for a minute! Nothing should come between it!]

Here is some literary context for you to look at with regarding becoming one in marriage:

  • Genesis 2:24
  • Mark 10:7-9
  • Ephesians 5:31

Another thing we see in this passage is God calling their wives their “companion” and that He was seeking godly offspring from the union. In Genesis, He declared woman the “help-mate” of man. In both, there is a sense of working together. And the purpose of their union is to raise up godly offspring. It is a reminder to fear the Lord, and also shows that both husband and wife are to play a role in instructing children in the ways of God.

It’s important to note that in 2:16 some translations read that God hates divorce. For example, the ISV* reads: “Indeed, the LORD God of Israel says that he hates divorce, along with the one who conceals his violence by outward appearances,” says the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. “So guard yourselves carefully, and don’t be unfaithful.

In marriage, husband and wife become one.

In marriage, husband and wife become one.

Most of us have been affected by divorce in some way. It can be a painful issue for many in the church, and we need to look after each other in it.  We also need to look at this word in its historical context, (just as earlier, when we looked at God declaring He hated Edom, and loved Jacob). Today, we see “hate” in emotional terms, but that was not the case in this scenario; here it refers to choice.

God’s CHOICE is never for divorce. God’s CHOICE is never for the breaking of any covenant (just like in other places of the Bible we’re told to be wise with our words).

God’s heart is NEVER for divorce. He made it, and places Himself as the witness of the covenant made between husbands and wives. However, He did make exceptions for it in the Law (as Jesus tells us, due to man’s hardness of heart).

See Deuteromony 24:1-4 and Matthew 5:30-32.

Jesus’ audience in Matthew were throwing off their wives for petty excuses. God’s heart is never for divorce. They were not to divorce their wives because they got sick of her and then leave her destitute. They were to take their wedding vows seriously as a covenant before God.

Question: how were the original readers to respond to this rebuke?

[Have a look at the text: Malachi 2:15-16].

God called them to guard themselves. This is an active command! They were to work to keep their marriages healthy, and to guard themselves from wandering from their wives. Just like in Song of Songs:

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom. (Songs 2:15)

 This leads us into application for our lives.

Malachi; What's happening in your heart?

Malachi; What’s happening in your heart?

Healthy Heart Habit #3b = Protect marriage; keep it sacred

God’s heart is for marriage to be held in all honour. The marriage covenant is sacred. Marriage needs to be entered in upon only having weighed the full seriousness of the decision. Once entered into, it needs to be remembered that it was a covenant made before God, and He will watch over it and demands our faithfulness in it.

 

*ISV – Scripture taken from the Holy Bible: International Standard Version®. Copyright © 1996-forever by The ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission.

Heart Issue #3a; Malachi 2:10-2:16

Today we look into the third issue in the hearts of the returned exiles:

Issue #3 Israel, a polluted people, ask: “Why does He not (accept our offerings)?”

In this next section we see God addressing two specific issues in their marriages. We will address the first only in this blog (hence the title, #3a)

The first issue in their marriages is that they were again marrying foreign women who are leading them into idolatry! Ezra 9:13-14 and Nehemiah 13:3 also speak words against the returned Jews marrying foreigners. Why was it wrong to marry foreigners? Should we only marry within our nationality, race, or culture?

We know that there were allowances for foreigners to enter into the congregation of God. For example, Exodus 12:37-38 makes reference to a mixed multitude that went out of Egypt and Exodus 12:48 allows for foreigners to be circumcised and then keep the Passover with the people of God. We also know that Ruth and Rahab were both foreign women who married into God’s people and were held in honour.

But then we also come across passages such as Numbers 25, or Exodus 34:13-16: “You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.

It was not the marriage per se that was wrong, but the resulting idolatry as they took on of the gods of their spouse! The sin of idolatry was one of the primary sins the people of Israel were called out for before they went into exile. The original readers could not bring offerings to God and expect His favour if they were transgressing the covenant in other areas of their lives.

We see this same principle commanded in the New Testament in Matthew 5 when Jesus tells them to tear out their eyes or lose a member if it is the cause of sin:

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30)

We know that God is not saying to literally cut of their hands; rather, Jesus wanted to show them the seriousness of their sins in His eyes. For the original readers, the Lord was calling them to stop the cycle of idolatry.

This leads us into application for our lives.

Malachi; What's happening in your heart?

Malachi; What’s happening in your heart?

Healthy Heart Habit #3a = Pure hearts; pure lives

Believers are called to cast off things of the world and serve God alone. We are to be cut off from the ways of the world, living as the light in the spheres of society. Ask yourself:

Are you living according to your culture, or assimilating the Word of God into your heart and living out a Kingdom culture?

Think about the following verses through the day:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)

. . . you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. (Romans 2:21-23)

Heart Issue #2; Malachi 1:6-2:9

Last time we saw how, the returned exiles were not focused on what God had done for them as a nation, or His grace over their history. They were fixated on their pre-conceived ideas and misconceptions of what their post-exile return to the land should look like. God called them to remembrance of what He had done for them, using their brother nation as an example. Our first Healthy Heart Habit, coming from this passage, was to remember what God has done for us.

Just as they could relate to their past with Edom, God starts addressing this second issue with language they can relate to: “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?” says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name.” (1:6)

God is addressing the PRIESTS in this statement. The priests of God, who were set apart for Him and His work, were no longer honouring Him, or fearing His name. Look at the repeated name God uses for Himself in this book: “LORD of hosts”. This can also be translated as “LORD of armies”. He isn’t some worthless, lifeless pagan god – He is the LORD of armies! He is worthy of their fear, He is worthy of their reverence and He is worthy of their honour. As we look at this book, ask yourself: “What does it mean to fear the Lord?” and “Why is He worthy of my fear?

Why is it such a big deal that God defend His name? Why is He charging the people with despising it? In the Ancient Near East, a person’s name was intimately tied to their character. The Israelites had despised His name and so despised His character. We see throughout this passage evidence of how they despised Him – including snorting at the LORD of armies. Can you imagine snorting at God?  The priests of God – the ones meant to be serving Him – were belittling Him! Their hearts were completely wrong towards God.

Look at 1:7-8 and take note of some of the things the priests were doing to pollute His name.

[Jot some down if it helps you to focus].

Moving into chapter 2, God is still addressing the priests and their disdain for Him. God now brings the conditions to the priests if they do not bring Him His due in honour (2:1-2):

  • “This command is for you…”
  • “If you do not listen…”
  • If you do not take it to heart…”

He also reminded them that they are in covenant with Him, and there were consequences for breaking this covenant. This is significant because it showed the people clearly that they were still under the Covenant with God – there were still curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience. Be sure to look at the theme of covenants in this book.

In 2:4 we hear mention of God’s covenant with Levi. There is no specific mention of a covenant with Levi until Jeremiah (chapter 33); however, we do know that Levi was a blessed tribe as they were set apart for God. You can read more about this in the following verses:

  • Exodus 32:24-29
  • Numbers 3:12-13
  • Deuteronomy 33:8-11 (Moses’ blessings on the tribes)
  • Jeremiah 33:14-26

The above verses show us that the Levites were His chosen servants; they were dedicated to Him; they were to be holy and to give their lives in service to Him. The Levites were presenting abhorrent offerings to God, and, by doing so, risking a return into exile. As God addresses them in this section, He calls them to come back to their former dedication, serving Him with willing hearts.

In this passage what He desires from His priests. Read again Malachi 2:5-8, and list the characteristics of priests who pleased God.

[Have you made your list yet? Give it a go!]

Note also that amongst this list, we see the priests called “messengers”. This is the second reference to “messengers” in this book. Here the reference shows that priests were not to speak their own words, but those of the Lord.

God was looking for priests who will teach with integrity, passing on the truth that they know. The original hearers were called out for causing many to stumble by their instruction. This shows us that true priests of God are to live by the truth they know.

So what’s the application for today? What can we learn from the priests?

Malachi; What's happening in your heart?

Malachi; What’s happening in your heart?

We see that the priests were allowing unrighteous offerings to be sacrificed. They did not hold God in honour or in fear.  Have a read of Matthew 15:8-11. This leads to our second Healthy Heart Habit:

Healthy Heart Habit #2 = Honour and fear the Lord, serving Him as a true priest

  • Ask yourself: What does it mean to honour the Lord? How do you walk in fear of Him?

God has called you His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).

  • Are you walking in a way that is honouring to Him as His priest?
  • Are you walking in holiness and uprightness?
  • Are you holding to His peace and the life we have in Christ?
  • Will you stand firm in His ways?
  • Are you speaking truth?

Challenge: Do not doubt that you are a priest of the Most High God and live accordingly! Speak the truth. Walk in holiness. Pray that His righteousness will shine forth from your life. (And maybe whilst praying, bake some heart-shaped cookies? ;))

 

When we come back we’ll get into the text looking at the next issue that God addresses:

Issue #3 Israel, a polluted people, ask: “Why does He not (accept our offerings)?” (2:10-2:16)

Heart Issue #1; Malachi 1:1-5

Finally we have made it! It’s time to get into the text of Malachi, now that we’ve explored its historical context.

As we saw last time, Malachi addresses six issues in the hearts of the returned exiles. Today we will look at issue #1: Israel, the privileged people, ask: How have you loved us?”

“How have you loved us?” Really, people, really?!

Wow! God starts this book with the uplifting words to His people: “I have loved you” (1:2). Ahhh, how beautiful. Thank you, Lord!

No! That’s not how the script goes. They don’t appreciate the words. They offer a challenge: “How have you loved us?” they ask.

When you tell someone that you love them how do you want them to reply? Certainly not with a challenge! God’s heart must have broken when they return His profession of love with a challenging “how?” They’re saying to God: “prove it!”

Over and over in the Old Testament you see God’s love for His chosen people. This is the last book in the Old Testament, and the people still can’t see His love past their immediate self-absorption and circumstances. How forgetful mankind can be. No wonder God constantly commanded the people to remembrance in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible; books of the Law).

Now, I must admit, that I’m really impressed by God’s response to His people here. If I was on the receiving end of their question I would be flabbergasted – left speechless  with my jaw hanging down in disbelief! But God answers their question by comparing the two brothers: Jacob and Esau.

Question: What is the significance of them being brothers? Why is God using brothers as a comparison to show His choice?

[Pause. Go on, have a think about it].

Brothers are level. They were born into the same family. They have the same history, same genes, same start in life. They are a good means for comparison.

God compares the brothers, saying: “I have loved Jacob, but Esau I hated” (1:2-3)

Did anyone feel God’s words were harsh here? I mean, really, there’s no need to bring love and hate into it! Today, we tend to tie love and hate to emotions, but remember that the Bible wasn’t written in our century. In this case it is a historical statement: “I chose you; I didn’t chose Esau”.

Am I making the historical statement thing up? Are you asking: Where else do we see this? Here are a few examples:

  • Genesis 29:30-31 -> We are told that Jacob loved Rachel, not Leah. But if you read it in context, it was that Rachel was the one he chose, not her sister, Leah.
  • Luke 14 -> Jesus says: “If you want to be my disciple, hate your parent”. The Bible also tells us that we must honour are parents. Jesus is really saying that we must chose Him, even over our families.

Paul further unpacks this in Romans in the passage 9:10-18. He shows that salvation is based on nothing but the election of God, not on works. It’s not on what we have done, just as Jacob was not more holy than his brother. This should show the returned exiles, our original readers, the love He has for them -> that He chose them, and rejected Esau.

However, I also want to point out that the choice goes two-ways. So, yes: God chose Jacob, but Esau also made a choice to reject God:

Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:33)

This is the same tension we have when Scripture talks about God choosing His elect for salvation, but also the choice believers must make for Him.  It can be likened to a marriage: the husband chose his wife, and proposed, but the wife also had a choice to make.

Coming back to Malachi, in 1:3-4 God talks about what He did to Edom.

Question: Why were they destroyed? Why was Edom destroyed?

[Hint: Have a look at the book of Obadiah].

The book of Obadiah is only one chapter long. It lists God’s judgement against the nation of Edom. The Edomites were judged for their hatred towards their brother, Israel. In verse 12 of Obadiah, we read that the Edomites gloated over Israel’s fall. This should be an encouragement to the original readers, showing them that God remembered their humility and their brother’s acts against them. 

God’s choice should have brought a response of thanksgiving and praise, but their response was “HOW?” – How have you loved us? They were so fixated on their immediate circumstances that they failed to see the proof of His love for them throughout the history of their nation.

Finally, God finishes addressing this first issue in verse 5 by saying that they (the original hearers of Malachi’s message) shall testify that God is great beyond the border of Israel. It’s not just going to be about them any more! This is inclusive language – all the nations – God is looking  at the Gentiles! Bring on the New Testament! Christ came for the salvation of ALL mankind!

Five packed verses!

Now it’s our turn. What is the application for our lives?

Malachi; What's happening in your heart?

Malachi; What’s happening in your heart?

The returned exiles were not focused on what God had done for them as a nation, or His grace over their history. They were fixated on their pre-conceived ideas and misconceptions of what their post-exile return to the land should look like. This should serve as a call for us to remember, which is our first healthy heart habit.

Healthy Heart Habit #1 = Remember what God has done for us

  • Do you take time to remember what God has done for you or are you fixated on the present?

Keeping our hearts grateful requires us to remain focused on who God is, and what He has done for us.

Challenge: Think back on what God has done for you. If you journal, take some time today to look back through your journal and remember what He has done in your life.

 

When we come back we’ll get into the text looking at the next issue that God addresses:

Issue #2 Israel’s polluted priesthood, say: “How have we despised your name?” (1:6-2:9)