The prophecy of Malachi is presented as a conversation between God and His people. In this conversation, God makes several statements and several accusations that the people are skeptical of, leading them to ask the following questions in their unbelief:
- How have you loved us?
- How have we despised your name?
- How have we polluted you?
- Why does He not regard our offering?
- How have we wearied Him?
- How shall we return?
- How have we robbed you?
- What have we spoken against you?
These questions are spoken in an incredulous tone, as though the people have no idea what God is talking about. God’s responses to their resentful questions revealed that all kinds of circumstances in their daily lives had a spiritual significance that they have not considered.
- Though they were unaware of it, their prosperity and their invitation to be God’s special people was a manifestation of His love for them.
- Though they do not think of it in such a way, their casual practice of giving God their leftovers rather than their best was really an insult on their part towards God.
- Their sinful lifestyles and selfish decisions were separating them from God with consequences that they would not have imagined.
- Their attitude of envying the wicked and considering righteous living as burdensome was a wearying accusation that they were bringing to God.
And yet the people saw none of this in their daily lives: God’s love, their disrespect, the spiritual damage that resulted from their foolishness, etc. The spiritual realities of life were lost on them.
Do we recognize the spiritual significance of the happenings in out lives? Do we consider every good thing to be a gift from Him, or is it merely “good luck” when we prosper? Are our sins perceived as private matters with no long term consequences, or do we recognize the damaging ripple effects they can have on our lives and the lives of those around us?
2 Kings 6:17 says “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Could it be that our lives are full of “horses and chariots of fire” and many other wonders that are only recognized by those who are spiritual?
God conveys both His love and His discipline to us day by day, whether we take the time to listen or not, and we convey either insults or gratitude to Him in return, whether we do so intentionally or without a second thought. God would have us to open our eyes to those realities.