Daily Readings and Thought for December 31st. ‘THE LORD WHOM YOU SEEK WILL SUDDENLY COME … “


 No, the above is not a New Testament quotation. Today, as 2023 ends, we complete reading both the Old and New Testaments.  Our quotation is from Malachi 3 v.1.  The previous chapter had concluded with the words, “You have wearied the LORD with your words.  But you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’”  

Two answers are given to that question  – the first – you weary him “by saying, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD’”  Is the same being said today?  The second answer given is, “by asking, where is the God of justice?” [2 v.12]  The point is people “weary” God by asking – why doesn’t God intervene to bring justice?   He will, but he will choose the time. God is “wearied” by human distortions of his ways.

His word, the Bible, is not read so that we know his ways.  But it is available for all to read, but less and less do – and of those who do, so many fail to try to thoroughly digest the totality of its message; a surface reading gives some the impression that God always turns a ‘blind eye’ to the evil on the earth.  

Now Malachi, the final prophet God sent to Israel, gives the same overall message as in Revelation – that God will suddenly act.  In both Revelation (20 v.12) and Malachi (3 v.16-18) we read of “books” being written before God – and then opened!  Malachi calls it a “book of remembrance”.  We read that those named in the book “shall be mine” says the LORD, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them …”

    In Revelation we read of those who will be called God’s people that “he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore for the former things have passed away.” [21 v.4]

We must, however, be aware of what else happens when “the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come …”   “For behold” Malachi also writes, “the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts … But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” [4 v.1,2]   

    We must live now in a way which shows we fear, that is, we are in awe of God’s name – his reputation. This is made very clear to those who read his word, the Bible every day; for they know how much they need good food for their minds and the wonder of a real relationship with God that such food brings.  May we all more earnestly seek that food in 2024.

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