The Distracted and the Focused

Malachi 3:13–18 (NKJV)

13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,”

Says the Lord,

Yet you say,

‘What have we spoken against You?’

14 You have said,

‘It is useless to serve God;

What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance,

And that we have walked as mourners

Before the Lord of hosts?

15 So now we call the proud blessed,

For those who do wickedness are raised up;

They even tempt God and go free.’ ”

Malachi points to the main factor which drove the Israelites away from God and toward idols:  they took their eyes off the glory of God and began to look at men for their reason to believe.  When Christians today stop living in relationship with God and begin to compare themselves to others, they lose perspective and their ability to see the blessings of God for what they are.  Stop caring so much about what others have or what they get away with, and thank God for that with which He has blessed you.

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,

And the Lord listened and heard them;

So a book of remembrance was written before Him

For those who fear the Lord

And who meditate on His name.

17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,

“On the day that I make them My jewels.

And I will spare them

As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

18 Then you shall again discern

Between the righteous and the wicked,

Between one who serves God

And one who does not serve Him.

This remaining passage in today’s reading tells the story of the other part of the people of God: those who stood with Him and worshipped Him fully.  Those who feared the Lord and meditated on Him and His goodness were placed in a book of remembrance and were characterized as jewels.  God tells Malachi that the day will come when it will be possible to discern between the righteous and the wicked, and the true followers of God will be obvious.  

Be sure that you are focused on God and His goodness.  Distractions, even disappointments, will come, but God does not change.  When others succeed, celebrate with them.  When evil people seem to go unpunished, pray and leave in the hands of the Lord.  When injustice occurs, appeal to God and the court of public opinion.  God will never fail you, but men will.  Let God be God and do not doubt Him.  He will know you and will remember you and will bless you richly.

Artwork from https://biblia.com/bible/nasb95/Mal%203.1-18

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