Monday, June 1, 2020

What is the Message?

As the years go by I am finding more and more how different passages of Scripture parallel each other -
seeing how they reinforce and amplify the message they repeat.

I am thinking now of the book of Genesis and the book of Malachi;
the first and the last books of the Old Testament.

In Genesis we have God alone,
     creating a perfect world,
          only to see that creation marred as Adam disobeyed.
We see Adam then, overcome with Fear at the Presence of God,
facing the consequence of his sin.

In Malachi we have God once again drawing close to mankind
and speaking -
     but this time we see man,
          not fearful in recognition of his guilt,
               but taking upon himself to argue with God.
What a contrast is there.

Centuries of history, and many generations have elapsed since Adam,
     and now man, distant from God,
          satisfied in his own slovenly adherence to his religious concepts,
               dares to argue with the Almighty.

Seven times in the book man throws God's words back on Him 
     asking God "why" He should say what He says,
          inferring that man is right and God is wrong.

I wonder how God sees us all today?
Maybe the book of Revelation provides another similar passage -
     God coming to the church of Laodicea, 
"wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,"(Rev.3.17)
     but all the while affirming her wealth and sufficiency.

I wonder how do we see God?
Do we tremble as Adam?
Or do we take God for granted as the generation of Malachi,
or of Laodicea?

Do we ever search for an eternal purpose in life, greater than ourselves?
     Do we ever try to understand God Himself,
     His infinite Life, Mercy and Love?
          Do we ever ask what is man, 
          and what was God's purpose in mans creation?
               Or are our lives wrapped up in our own shortsightedness,
               unable to really see anything beyond what affects our daily existence?
('Our own things will make a pretty small bundle at the judgement,' a preacher used to say.)

Malachi is a book of Judgement and a book of Appeal.
     Appeal from the God Who starts the book saying "I loved you" (1.2)
          The call is to seek until God "suddenly come to His temple." (3.1)
               The promise is of abundant blessing.

But there is one phrase that sticks with me today,
     "Ye shall go forth."  (4.2)

There is a world there ... a world of freedom,
     a world of deliverance from the things which bind mankind -
          the things which bound Adam, 
          the things which bound the hearers of Malachi's message,
          the things which bind the generation in which we live.

What a world is there:
     to go forth ... to God, 
          to go forth ... to Life,
               to go forth ... to freedom,
finding a realm which, in God, is Eternal -
     infinite, beyond measure in all directions.

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