Some people will never listen to a “negative” comment. They always want the positive stuff. Let me ask this question; What good is a battery with only a positive pole? There is no battery with only a positive pole. They all; from automotive – cars and trucks – to batteries for electronic gadgets, fire alarms, etc.; they all have a negative and positive pole.
Our Scripture reading today is Zechariah 3 through Malachi 1
The reading was mostly positive, yet there are some words of warning, yeah! Negative stuff. How good can the positive be, if there is no negative. How powerful can the electric be without the negative. I have an electric fence around my yard/lawn to keep cattle out. I can assure you that without the ground wire (the negative), there would be no jolt on that wire. You get my point.
One of the first negatives I will point out is,
“Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.” Zechariah 11:17 (KJV)
The shepherd or pastor of whom the prophet is speaking is one who leads his people or followers in idol worship rather than the worship of the true God. To me this has a positive message for the follower of God and Christ. It tells me that there is coming a day when all idol worship, and worshipers will cease to be and that all will worship the one true God.
There is also coming a day when all Israel will look upon Jesus who was judged guilty by the angry religious leaders of that day; and He was without guilt. His only guilt was that He was guilty of being holy, righteous, without blemish or spot; He claimed to be and is the Son of God.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” 12:10
All will turn out just as the LORD has said. Just as He has promised. His Word will be fulfilled word for word. Not one word shall fail.
Malachi is a prophet who sees the people who are “bored” with worship; yes, the worship of the LORD. He confronts them with it. More negativity is coming. Do we not need to hear the negative to get a positive outcome? you can close your ears all you want to the negative, but that does not help you or any others who may be actually perishing in their sin, and decrepit attitudes.
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a Father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a Master, where is My fear?’ saith the LORD of hosts unto you, ‘O priests, that despise My name. And ye say, ‘Wherein have we despised Thy name?’ Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar; and ye say, ‘Wherein have we polluted Thee? In that ye say, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’ And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?’ saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 1:6-8 (KJV)
Though the reading today did not include the closing chapters of Malachi let us finish with some comments from chapters two and four.
The people of Judah were going through the motions of worshiping God, but were not living the worship. They had in affect departed from the worship of YHWH, and “wearied the LORD with your words” (2:17). The prophecy of Malachi ends with a word of hope and promise of one coming to prepare the way;
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” 4:5-6
The Lord GOD calls all people to worship Him. He is holy, righteous, and just. He will not hold the sinner guiltless. However, when the sinner receives His offering for sin we put on the righteousness of His own dear Son who bled and died for our sins on the cross, was buried – carrying away the sin, guilt and condemnation; and He bodily arose from the grave justifying forever all those who will believe on Him.