DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-12-31
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Malachi 2:13-16
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 13-15 And here’s a second offense: You fill the place of worship with your whining and sniveling because you don’t get what you want from God. Do you know why? Simple. Because God was there as a witness when you spoke your marriage vows to your young bride, and now you’ve broken those vows, broken the faith-bond with your vowed companion, your covenant wife. God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage? Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don’t cheat on your spouse.
16 “I hate divorce,” says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.
OBSERVATION: I believe that God blessed me with the best wife, when we made our vows before Him on November 7, 1975. I believe that God has also blessed our work for Him over the years, and in the daughter He blessed us with. But little did I realize the full extent of this Scripture, until today. Please know that I am not here to criticize anyone whose marriage fell by the wayside, but I thought it important that we see what the Word of God says about this important aspect of two lives becoming one in holy matrimony.
APPLICATION: I don’t believe that things have changed very much at all. Malachi dealt with the whining and complaining of the Jews on why they were feeling so empty in their worship to God. Malachi, in speaking the word of the Lord, immediately recognized that something was blocking the communion of the saints with their Father as they worshipped. Isn’t it interesting how still today we could go through the motions, but yet feel very empty inside, as if we never truly worshipped? You see, we might take off the dirty filthy clothes worn all week and we may put on our very best clothes, but will that truly bring us close to God? We might attend the biggest and best rated church in town, or we may decide to visit a small, quaint, secluded church that claims to have the best pastor, but in either case we could very easily leave as empty as when we walked in, even though we were convinced that God was just not there. We may decide to get involved at our church – singing in the choir, helping in a Bible Study class, or working with the children, but yet we might drown in our sorrows, feeling like we have not connected with God. Obviously we must know that God never reneges on His Word. He said that He would be with us through every stage of life and be there to accept us as we leave this world, so what might trick our brains into thinking that we have a disconnect between us and God? Friends, God made it clear in His word that He will not reside where sin is, and He will not approve of sin in any form, for He has never sinned, nor will He ever sin, seeing that He is the righteous Son of God. We may immediately think of sin, like we see in our neighbor or our friend, but in our example today of how sin could separate us from God, Malachi dealt with divorce – breaking the covenant agreement made between a man and a woman in the presence of the Almighty. Friends, our fleshly minds will tell us that everything we did was legal, and furthermore we even had a Notary pronounce our wedding vows. I’m sure that makes you feel that your actions are therefore more legitimate because of that, but because we are talking about a right relationship with God, I believe it behooves us to think about how our relationship was injured when we totally ignored the covenant we made with Him and our spouse. Why do you suppose this is important to God? He became a party to our vows and He blessed our union with our spouse, so that we could produce godly children. So through divorce, we not only broke our covenant agreement with God, but we also made it impossible to give Him what He desired from us – godly children. Without looking down my nose in the slightest at any divorcee, let me just say that God’s Word is exactly that – it’s His Word, and not mine. I am merely the messenger reminding you of what the Word has to say about everything – today being about marriage. Please read the Word of God and endeavor to live by it, God being your helper. Take your petitions before God and seek His forgiveness, guidance and His perfect will for your life.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for making us in Your own image. We were placed here on earth being weak and fully susceptible to sin. You are the only One without sin, and You are the only One to whom we must give an account of what we have done with all You have blessed us with. Unfortunately we have messed up a lot, and it is so challenging to approach Your throne in such an ugly, sinful manner. But praise be to the Father, You are the only One capable of forgiving us of our sin and making us right with You and the Father. Please renew within us a right spirit and a righteous and holy respect for You in every phase of life – one that You could use to bless others who need an example to follow. Oh that You may be lifted up, magnified and praised today because someone may have realized their need for a Savior. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!