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Devon Russell - Malachi (Week 12)
Devon Russell - Malachi (Week 12)
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Lyrics

”Stop Your Questions” by Devon Dodgson

Jacob, have I loved, have I loved you
But you’ve turned your face away
Offering the sick and the lame; defiling my name

Jacob, have I loved, have I loved you
But you’ve turned your face away
From the wife of your youth, the wife of your youth

Jacob, have I loved, have I loved you
But you’ve turned yourself aside
From the laws that I gave; dishonor my name

Jacob, have I loved, have I loved you
But you’ve turned yourself aside
I will make you despised, make you despised

Stop your questions
I am great among the nations
Stop your questions
I am great among the nations

Oh behold, he shall come
Like a fire, and testify
Ohh, the Lord, he shall come
He will not change, He knows your name

Stop your questions
I am great among the nations
Stop your questions
I am great among the nations

The artist: Devon Dodgson

The Book of the Twelve doesn’t end with a bang, but with a whimper. Malachi doesn’t address a people worshiping other gods or in extreme rebellion against God. Instead, he rebukes a people who offer God lackluster worship and half-hearted obedience.

The Book of the Twelve doesn’t end with a bang, but with a whimper. Malachi doesn’t address a people worshiping other gods or in extreme rebellion against God. Instead, he rebukes a people who offer God lackluster worship and half-hearted obedience. It seems after the people of Judah had returned to the land and rebuilt the temple, a cloud of spiritual indifference fell over the whole populace. What should have been a vibrant loving relationship between God and the people of God had become machinistic and empty. What should have been loving obedience had been reduced to bare- minimum requirements.

The problem with this type of sin is that it just doesn’t seem all that offensive to those caught up in it–but as Jesus explains (1), love like this is more offensive than hatred.

Every statement God made was countered by a demand for evidence. Seven times Malachi imagines his audience retorting reply (2), “How have you loved us, How have we despised your name, Why does he not regard our offering, How have we wearied the Lord, How shall we return, How have we robbed you, How have we spoken against you”? Communication like this has more in common with a courtroom than a marriage, but they boldly put God in the dock (3) as if he was the one not keeping the covenant. In their minds in regards to the unfulfilled promises, they could check off the boxes of what was required of them, so what was God’s excuse? In reality, just as throughout the history of Israel, God was ever faithful and it was the people who were at fault.

Yes the sacrifices had begun again at the temple, but they were offering God the last and least instead of the first and best. The displayed their “love” in offering the blind, the lame, sick (4) or even the stolen (5). They would never see that as an acceptable gift to their human governor (6), but it was good enough for God. God would prefer no worship at all to worship like this (7).

The priests should have been teaching the people and setting the example in honoring God, like their ancestor Levi (8) but instead they led the people with indifference and partiality (9). God’s wasn’t the only covenant they were mishandling. They were also divorcing their wives (10) to marry younger pagan women (11). They brought their sacrifices to the altar, but they were rejected for being

mingled with the tears of their abandoned wives (12). They also neglected to bring their tithes to the temple (13). Unable to trust that God would provide enough, they kept God’s ten percent back, not realizing that doing so guaranteed they wouldn’t have enough because they were cutting themselves off from the Giver of all good things (14).

For many, the words of Malachi go unheeded. There is
a group however that turns back to a whole-hearted relationship with God, and He promises they will be remembered (15) and that a time is coming when the division will be sharp and clear between one and the other (16): a coming fire that will purify the righteous (17) but consume the wicked (18). Before then, God promises a messenger (19), the one that Isaiah said would come (20), one like Elijah (21) who would act as a forerunner.

Following in his footsteps would be the Lord of the covenant himself (22). He would come to Israel in the flesh.