True Worshiper (1)
“The burden of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.” This is the first verse of the first chapter of Malachi, the conclusive book of the Old Testament. The name of the prophet Malachi means “my envoy.” God commissioned him with a special task and sent him to the Israelites.
Throughout the Old Testament, Israel disregarded God’s warnings and lost the glory of Israel, unaware of the Bible’s truths as guidance and navigation. Eventually the temple of Jerusalem collapsed, and the people were taken to Babylon and became miserable slaves.
When there were no names, no temples, no worship, and no priests, God brought back the prisoners according to His own promise after 70 years of long forgotten years. Among the foreign exiles, the ones to return were those who still remembered the glory and grace of God and wished to restore the glory of Jerusalem in the land of Israel. After returning, they built Zerubbabel Temple, which was incomparably pitiful to Solomon’s temple. And shortly thereafter, they faced hardships and discouragements. They fell back to temptations even in the land they returned by the mercy of the Lord.
An Ultimatum to Israel
Finally, God’s loving chastisements and warnings stopped. About 400 years after the book of Malachi is the intertestamental period, the time when God’s message was cut off. The book of Malachi comes before that. Therefore the book of Malachi is God’s ultimatum to Israel sent through a special envoy.
God’s unrequited love message and unyielding voice to those who could not understand, to be damned, and torn in hopelessness was “I have loved you” (Malachi 1:2). From the day the heavens opened, the heart of the Lord had been “I created the heavens and the earth and made you, and I love you”. God’s love towards us had been revealed when He created the heavens and the earth, and created man in the image of God in the Garden of Eden.
It is by grace that we are able to hear this eternal confession of God even today regardless of how we have lived our lives. God’s heartfelt message towards us even today is ‘I love you.’ Amen! God has never changed.
Even in the very first cursed moment of mankind, when God’s perfect love was rejected, He promised eternal salvation through the woman’s offspring (Gen. 3:15). At the moment of complete betrayal, the essence of God’s love message that was stronger than death can be condensed to, ‘I love you!’ So John 3:16 is the message that combines the New and Old Testaments in the Bible. God loved the world so much that He gave his only begotten Son. There is neither language nor content to express love more than this, concentrated expression. (February 2018) <Continued> [Gospel Prayer Newspaper]
Missionary Kim Yong Eui (Current missionary. Representative of LOG Mission)
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