DAY 39


DATE: 2/8/13


Good Morning! My name is Paul Herrold and I was asked to give you a devotional thought from the book of Malachi 3-4.


KEY VERSES:  3:13-16

13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts?  15 So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.’”  16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.



Malachi (who we don’t know much about other than that his name means “my messenger”) was written in approximately 450 BC.  Malachi was writing to God’s people after they had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.  God, through Malachi, identifies to the people three specific ways that they were being slack in their reverence and worship to their Holy God.

1.  6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If then I am the Father, where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?…7 “You offer defiled food on My altar, but say,‘In what way have we defiled You?’  By saying,‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil?  And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?  Offer it then to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you favorably?”  says the Lord of hosts.  (Malachi 1:6-8 )

2.  13 And this is the second thing you do:  You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.  14 Yet you say, “For what reason?”  Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  15 But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit?  And why one?  He seeks godly offspring.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.  (Malachi 2:13-15)

3.  8 “Will a man rob God?  Yet you have robbed Me!  But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’  In tithes and offerings.  9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.  10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”  (Malachi 3:8-10)


Dishonoring God through unclean sacrifices, unfaithfulness to their spouses, and robbing God:  that was their list of ways they were dishonoring God.  That leads me to think about our list.  If God sent a Malachi to Valley Baptist; what would he say?  Part of the importance of the book of Malachi is that it was the final written word which began a silence by the Holy Spirit that lasted over 400 years.  The next recorded prophecy came from the lips of Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father) announcing the birth of Jesus Christ.



In our key verse the people’s words were very telling to the condition of their heart.  They kept playing dumb and saying things like How have we dishonored you?  How have we robbed you?  What have we said against you?  But ultimately the truth came out.  They demonstrated with their actions what they believed in their hearts:  that serving God and keeping His statutes was pointless.  What caused them to reach this point was their focus on the ungodly nations around them and how “blessed” they were.

Now fast-forward 2400 years.  We live in a society that is forgetting God.  Maybe all generations have a point in time where they recognize a cultural shift away from God, but this realization has hit me especially hard in the past year.  But the truth is, the world (that is without Christ) is not the problem.  We as Christians are the problem.  The fear is that Christianity will become and is becoming a subculture, with its own lingo, bracelets, and bumper stickers.  God has called us not to be a subculture, but to be countercultural.  We have the antidote, but as long as Jesus is left within the four walls of church buildings, Jesus can never change our homes, communities, nation or world.  Back to the people of Malachi’s day:  they bought into the idea that serving God and living for Him was not worth it.  Certainly many people still feel that way and many youth leave their parents’ home with that same notion, but that is simply untrue.  If we focus on the problems of our day we can easily become discouraged. 

So let’s end this on a positive note.  In Malachi’s day there was a remnant of people that feared God:  Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.  Malachi 3:16.  God is willing to listen to those who fear him.  I personally know people at Valley and people from all over the country that fear God.  They are living for God.  They have decided to set no wicked thing before their eyes or their children’s. They are following His Word. They are risking popularity to take unpopular stands for God, be this at work, school, etc.  These are the people that will be honored when all is said and done, these faithful men and women will be “remembered” by God.  I like the passage in Leviticus 10 when God was talking to Aaron and his boys (priests), and He named some things He wanted them to abstain from.  God went on to say the reason was to “put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.”  We have a unique opportunity in our day to “put a difference” or to contrast lives filled with joy, peace, and love versus lives of emptiness, unrest, and misery that ultimately comes with life apart from Christ.


Thank you for being a part of the Route 66 Challenge.  Thanks for reading, and you have a blessed day.


In Christ,






FAMILY:  Wife, Sarah (??), Chloe (11), Caleb (8), Carter (6)

DREAM VACATION:  Today I’m thinking skiing at Keystone, Colorado