Malachi: Owning a True Heart … Embrace His Authority

In Malachi 1:6 – 2:9 we find the second step in the path to owning a true heart – we need to embrace or appropriate the authority of God.

He is boss. He is our Lord and there is no other.

“A son honors his father and a servant his master …” God is both our Father and our Master and thus deserves the honor. One thing about owning a true heart is to live a consistent life and the consistent life is only through living out what we say and living according to who we are. In most of the world hypocrisy is frowned on. We this is what we are talking about here.

The nation of Israel asked how is this and it was because they were not consistent with what they knew. The Law was clear as to the type of sacrifice that was to be done. They, the Israelite’s, in accordance to the Law were to bring their best. The unstained, unblemished animal. Remember they had agreed to this but failed to do it.

On top of this the leadership, the priests that is, allowed the people to do this without instructing properly and God reprimanded them. Why? Because they did not “lay it to heart” (Malachi 2:2) In other words they were not owning a true heart. They knew what they were supposed to teach and they did not. The priests were to teach about life, peace, and the connection to fearing God (2:5). Instead the priests “corrupted” the covenant resulting in the people disregarding the Law – the result, neither had a true heart.

Even today we can do the same thing, can’t we? Think about it. We claim to be followers of Christ and yet we do not do what our Lord asks and then expect Him to bless us. This is a corruption of the love that has been demonstrated for us in the Son and Savior Jesus Christ. The reason is because the Israelite did not won a true heart. They said something and did something to make it look they were when they were not.

This is not a call to perfection as some might note but rather a call to being true to who we are by doing what we say we are going to do. This is called being authentic. This is what we want to be, authentic believers. In order to live consistent and be true to what and who we are is to embrace or appropriate God’s authority. He is the boss.

If He is the boss than we do what He says because we want to. We bring to our Lord the best according to His word because He is the authority.

Let’s do just that.

Mark

2 replies
  1. Roberta Hause
    Roberta Hause says:

    Perhaps I’m backtracking to the first sermon in this series, but to this day I struggle with the whole Jacob and Esau thing. I found Jacob to be somewhat conniving and manipulative, so how does he come out the hero in all of this. Also, it seems like the punishment doesn’t fit the crime in Esau’s case. In a moment of hunger (or let’s say weakness) he gives up his birthright. Now his entire lineage is cursed. Perhaps I’m missing some of the pieces of this story, like what is expected of a firstborn, a tradition our culture does not really embrace much. To me, the information we have to go on in scripture makes it seem like God is not just, that he makes no accommodations for weaknesses, and that he is not merciful. What we don’t know from scripture is what Esau’s attitude was in this entirely. Did Esau make a comment like “I don’t really care about my birthright or my lineage?” Or was Esau simply hungry after being out in the field working, while Jacob (coming across a bit like a pansy) was home cooking and saw an opportunity to take advantage of his brother because he was jealous. Food for thought, but this story leaves me hanging and wondering what should my take away be from this. I guess I’m thankful we have Jesus now to advocate on my behalf when I’m weak.

    Reply
    • bcc
      bcc says:

      What great comments … what you say is absolutely true and that is the point. For most of us we really do not care much about our heritage or genealogy outside of curiosity, so thus the question becomes what was the significance. I would propose for thought is that the conclusion is just the opposite of what we think it is. Yes, Jacob was just as much a manipulative conniving person as Esau as you suggest. If this is the case what is the story of Esau and Jacob all about? As you mention the entire lineage of Esau was cursed and I would propose this is just as all the human race is. What I mean is that all of us are cursed to die if we do not trust in the Savior and yes there is not a huge difference between Esau and Jacob – except for one thing – Jacob embraced the Savior. See in the birthright and lineage each of them were challenged to choose to embrace the coming Messiah and Esau said “no” preferring a bowl of porridge. It was not about the porridge itself. This was a characteristic of his life – he desired to follow the path of the flesh and not the path of God. Now, Jacob was not much better as a person, at least in the early days of his life but Jacob embraced the birthright and all that came with that. See the focus is not on Jacob or Esau. It is not about whether either one of them was good or not good. It was not about if one was better than the other, but rather would they be willing to embrace the Messiah. Jacob was willing and Esau was not. It is the same choice for us today. It is not whether you or I are better than anyone else … it is about embracing the Messiah/Savior/Christ. If we have, even if we are fleshly, conniving, and manipulative we will experience the amazing love of God in and through His Son, the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior.

      This is powerful as the message of Jacob and Esau is simply this – no matter how rich one is, or poor, or beautiful or ugly, or if someone is a Jew or a Gentile, or if someone is a different race, or color of skin or a failure in the eyes of the world, they can experience the love of God in and through His Son forever. Wow – is that powerful. God loves you, loves me, and anyone and offers us the abundant, powerful opportunity to experience His love eternally if we want and all we have to do is trust in the Son. It is not based on anything I do. It cannot be earned. This gift simply has to be received. God loved Esau, Esau choose to not accept aligning himself with God. A choice we all have to make and may the Lord help us to receive His Son – for whomever does this becomes a part of the family of God (John 1:12).

      Thoughts, questions?

      Pastor Mark

      Reply

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