Posts Tagged 'wickedness'

JEREMIAH, PART 8

The Cursed and the Blessed

Jeremiah 17:5—8

Chapter 17 of Jeremiah’s book of prophecy is a continuation of what the prophet started in chapter 16. Though it doesn’t have a central theme, it does group together numerous denunciations of the sin and sins of Judah and it contains some interesting proverbial sayings on the issues of life, sin, and what happens when one lives right or lives wrong.

Verse 1 really sets the tone and shows Judah’s real problem:

Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.

The sin of Judah was not her many sins or sinfulness, but rather her proclivity to sin which led to her sinful practices, like idolatry. How bad had things gotten in Judah? Her sin was actually engraved upon the tablets of her heart. In other words, the root of sin ran deep in Judah. It was passed on from generation to generation. Even those with good hearts found it difficult to remain faithful to God because they were surrounded by sin and sinfulness night and day. Sin had taken root within the inner being of so many people in Judah that ordinary means were insufficient to get rid of it. Sinning had become a habit; part of her nature—their settled disposition. Judah’s focus, her affection, her habit, her first thought, her strongest desire, led in one direction so that evil and wickedness had become the norm. Forgiveness would never change this. God has no way of dealing with such a sinful disposition except to break it, as a potter would smash a marred vessel. Out of the broken pieces He fashions a new creation.

In verses 5—8 we are introduced to groups of people for the purpose of a strong contrast. There are certain spiritual laws that cannot be altered and will always come to pass. For example, most of us are familiar with the “law of reciprocity,” which says “you reap what you sow.” This most basic of Biblical laws cannot be avoided; it will always work. Another immutable law of God is the law of blessings and curses. Obedience to the Word of God brings God’s blessings, but disobedience brings curses, or a deliberate withholding of blessings.

1. Who are the cursed?

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (verse 5)

This group of verses brings to mind the contrast of Psalm 1, where we read of the fate of two men: one who trusts in man versus one who trusts in God. To trust in man is to not trust in God. Here is what Jesus said on the subject:

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)

Man was created with a free will, he is not a robot, and he has the power of choice and man must make the right choice if he wants to enjoy God’s blessings. The importance of choice is a theme all over the Bible:

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

There is always a choice for a person to make: God’s way or man’s way; good or evil. For Jeremiah, the evil choice was that of self-confidence, which included things like self-righteousness. To trust man is to put your confidence in man and in man’s ideas. It really is a conscious departure of the heart from the Lord. Judah’s hope for salvation, like ours, cannot come from the wisdom or the efforts of man.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:8, 9)

Your hope cannot rest in any man, prince, or even king! Your help does not come from man:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber… (Psalm 121:1—3)

It is the evil heart – the heart far from God – the heart of unbelief –  that departs from the living God. To trust man is to deny God. Keil and Delitzsch wrote this:

Dependence upon the flesh, the antithesis of the spirit, sets forth the vanity and perishableness of man and all earthly things.

2. What is the curse?

He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

History testifies to the fact that Judah had a habit of relying on Egypt, Babylon, and other nations for help when she should have trusted God to help her. The curse for continually ignoring God and choosing man is clearly spelled out in verse 6. When you trust in man, your spiritual life will wither up. That kind of person is like a shrub in the middle of the desert: all by himself with nothing around for shade and no one to care for him. There’s no rain, no nourishment, no growth, no hope. That desert shrub is both stunted and starved. When you prefer man’s way over God’s you will live in a perpetually barren state; God’s spigot of blessings has been turned off.

Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. (Job 8:11—13)

3. Who are the blessed?

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (verse 7)

Contrary to the people who trust in man are the people who trust in the Lord. To “trust” in the Lord and to have “confidence” in Him is to give the Lord your undivided confidence from the heart. When you are able to do that, you will have discovered the secret of full and eternal blessedness. People who trust in God like that are truly blessed in every way.

Take careful note of Jeremiah’s use of the words “trust” and “confidence.” They are different, but you can’t have trust without confidence. Confidence suggests hope; if you trust in God, you will have hope because your confidence is placed in God, who has never failed.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:3, 4)

4. What are the blessings? Verse 8

The blessings of a life of obedience to God and faith in God alone are great. This blessed person has:

A good position.

He will be like a tree planted by the water…

When you trust in God, He puts you in the right place at the right time. You will have purpose.  You won’t be like that shrub stuck in the middle of the desert! The believer is planted in Christ! There is no more secure position to be in!

An endless supply

…that sends out its roots by the stream.

When your hope is in God, the resources of heaven are there for you. All the resources of God’s continuous flow of blessings are available to you. When your trust God and your confidence is in the right place, you are able to “send out your roots” into the river of God’s infinite blessings.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

A happy fearlessness

It does not fear when heat comes…

The drought has no effect on the tree that’s planted by flowing waters. The significance of this phrase cannot be overstated! It means that regardless of what the circumstances are all around you; no matter what your neighbors or co-workers are going through, if your trust, your hope, and your confidence is in God, you will not fear! God elevates you above your circumstances. You can live fearlessly and cheerfully when your trust is in the right place.

An ever fresh experience

its leaves are always green.

Many a Christian would love to have a fresh experience with God. You can, if you renew you hope and trust in Him! Imagine what your life would feel like if you could have the burden of all your cares taken away.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

That promise is for you, if you can muster enough trust to let God carry what gets you down.

A blessed freedom

It has no worries in a year of drought…

Can you imagine living without worries? You can!  Worry is a sin, it’s not a virtue. There is not a good thing achieved by worrying. Worry is not concern; concern is a good thing but worry is the silent killer of faith. When you trust in the Lord, you are not trusting in things and people that fail. Living on the promises of God saves you from the fearfulness of hard times when they find you. And they will! The question you need to ask yourself is a simple one: Will I face the hard time full of worry and fear? Or will I trust God to get me through?

Continual fruitfulness

and never fails to bear fruit.

A never-failing river of life produces in those who receive its fullness a never-failing fruitfulness to God! When you are trusting God and not man, you will be able to not only attempt great things for God, you will DO great things for God. But it starts with trusting Him full.

Maybe it’s time we pulled out and dusted off that old gospel song:

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me!
Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see.
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free!
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me!
Spring up, O well, within my soul!
Spring up, O well, and make me whole!
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST, PART 4

The Purpose of the Cross

[Jesus Christ]…who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father… (Galatians 1:4)

The Cross of Christ finds its foreshadow in the Old Testament thousands of years before its reality in the New Testament. During the great Day of Atonement in Israel, the high priest would sprinkle all the vessels of the Tabernacle with blood, showing that it was now possible for all the people to enjoy the blessings which they represented. This ancient foreshadow is reflected in something Paul wrote to the Romans:

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Thanks to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, everything we need for life and godliness is now available to us. Even before His sacrifice, Jesus tried to clue His followers in, not that they grasped this great truth when they heard it:

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:8)

All that “asking and receiving,” “seeking and finding,” and all those “open doors” are made possible to the believer because of the Cross of Christ. But beyond what Jesus said in the Gospels, there are some very special benefits, blessings, and privileges bought by the Blood of Christ, and what follows are some of them.

1. Christ bought our freedom from all wickedness, Titus 2:14

…who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

“Wickedness,” or “iniquity” in the KJV, is both passive and and active. It’s passive in that it’s a state of being every sinner lives in. It’s active in the obvious sense that a wicked person commits wicked acts. One without Christ is wicked and he can’t help but commit wicked acts. It is from that life and from those acts that Blood of Christ delivers. To be redeemed from “all wickedness” is be set free from everything that blocks the redeemed sinner from becoming like the One who died for his sins.

It’s not enough to simply have your sins forgiven, but your whole life has to change: motives and attitudes, tempers and personalities that blur God’s plan for our lives must be changed. The Blood of Christ has purchased the whole man, therefore the whole man changes.

For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. (2 Corinthians 5:16, JBP)

2. Christ died to bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:18

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…

The purpose for what happened on the Cross of Christ was not only to deliver us from wickedness, but to bring us to God.

No, you have been allowed to approach the true Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have drawn near to the countless angelic army, the great assembly of Heaven and the Church of the first-born whose names are written above. You have drawn near to God, the judge of all, to the souls of good men made perfect, and to Jesus, mediator of a new agreement, to the cleansing of blood which tells a better story than the age-old sacrifice of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22—24)

Count the number of times “you have drawn near” is written in those verses! What a blessing it is to “brought near” to God, not as a criminal, but as Blood-bought child of God.

But how, exactly, does the Blood of Christ do this?

  • When we come to Christ, we also come to know God personally, in a way that was not possible in our old lives. The promised Holy Spirit leads us into all truth concerning our Heavenly Father. We are able to experience God’s love, mercy, and grace like never before. The death of the Son of God reveals God to those who love Him.

  • The Cross of Christ brings us into God’s favor. We have been reconciled to God through the shed blood Jesus.

  • Through His death, we are able to become like Christ; we have been made “partakers of the divine nature.”

  • Thanks to the finished work of Christ, we are able at last to enjoy full, unfettered fellowship with God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God’s abiding presence may be enjoyed all the time by believers.

3. Christ died to secure our adoption, Galatians 4:4—5

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Not only does God consider us to be His children by adoption, but—and this is the exciting part—all the privileges of God’s children have been purchased for us by the work of Christ. God becomes our Father when our sins are forgiven, the guilt and stain of those sins purged from us and when we place our full faith and confidence in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. At that moment, we become part of God’s great family, joint heirs with the Son of God. Because we are children of God, we are able to call God “our Father,” and we know that He hears us as any father would hear children.

4. Christ died for us to rescue us from this present age, Galatians 1:4

who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age…

Ours is a great heritage, thanks to the work of Christ. And yet, while we are living in the flesh—living in this world with sin and wickedness all around us—we continue to be exposed to the filth and corruption that characterizes this fallen society and world. Where it not for the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in us, we would be sucked right back into our former sinful state. One of the results of Christ’s death is the wonderful blessing of being “insulated” from the wickedness that swirls all around us. We have our Lord’s promise on this:

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (John 17:15)

That’s right, we may be protected from sin’s nefarious influence when we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Remember, the three Hebrews who were tossed into the fiery furnace? God didn’t keep them out of the furnace, but He kept the fire from touching them. We will always be delivered as we look to the Cross of Christ.

5. Christ died that we might live for God, 2 Corinthians 5:15

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Here is a benefit of the Cross of Christ a lot Christians never take the time to think about. Christ died so that might be rescued from the awful condition of being self-centered. In Christ, we’re not supposed to be living for ourselves, but for God. The state of the average Christian’s life demonstrates that they don’t know this truth. Christ suffered for us, showing us how we are to live. The fact is, there is not a single born again believer who has the right to live as he pleases.

...you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Notice: God did something for us, now we are to do something in return. He won’t force us to live for Him; He wants us to come to that realization ourselves. Living for Him is something we are to consciously do, each and every day. It has been made possible by the Coiss, but our efforts make it reality.

6. Christ died so that we would receive the Holy Spirit, Galatians 3:13—14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Jesus Christ purchased our freedom from the curse of the law so that we could receive the promised Holy Spirit. This truth has prompted some scholars to conclude that, in a way, true Pentecost happened at Calvary. The infinite power of the Holy Spirit is ours through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11 KJV)

Nobody can receive the Holy Spirit until they have been redeemed by Christ who was a curse for us. The Blood of Christ must first cleanse the heart before the Holy Spirit can take up residence there.

7. Christ died so that He might become the Lord of both the living and the dead, Romans 14:9

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Jesus Christ humbled Himself to the very lowest so that God could exalt Him to the very highest. Jesus Christ made Himself of “no reputation” and is now crowned “Lord of all!” And He redeemed us so that He might become the Lord of our lives.

For he gave himself for us all, that he might rescue us from all our evil ways and make for himself a people of his own, clean and pure, with our hearts set upon living a life that is good. (Titus 2:14 JBP)

Being Lord of all, Jesus Christ has all power in Heaven and on Earth. He is more than able to be your Lord in every sense of the word. Do you think there is any situation in your life that He cannot straighten out? Is there any anxiety you might be experiencing that He cannot change? Is your depression so deep that Jesus Christ can’t reach down and pull you up out of it? If Jesus Christ is your redeemer, then He must also be your Lord. And as your Lord, He owns you—all of you. He has an interest in you. Let the Lord of your life take care of you. Stop trying to do it all yourself. Learn how to submit to Him. It’s time for believers to let the Lord, their redeemer, take His rightful and permanent place on the throne of their  hearts. Only when that happens, will the Kingdom become real in your life, and His will be done.

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:10)

A SURVEY OF THE MINOR PROPHETS, Part 5

Micah 3:1—12; Malachi 2:1—9

“Judgment is coming!” declared Micah, and there is way to escape it. Because of gross injustice in the land and because wealthy and/or influential people wanted it that way, judgment was on its way. The leaders of the land were taking advantage of both their privileges and their responsibilities.

1. Wicked leaders rebuked, Micah 3:1—4

Micah was a prophet who came from small, rural village in Israel but his ministry struck at the heart of the seat of power in the land. He prophesied during the 8th century BC when the future of the Jews was a little fuzzy. Babylon was in ascendancy as a world power, and the Jews were aware that they were flexing their military muscles. At the same time, the Jews were confident in their Covenant with God; that He would protect them. But Micah gave them a dose of reality. Trusting in the Covenant only worked when you were holding up your end of it. The leaders of the nation, by their sinful, rebellious actions, were steering the entire nation toward sure destruction.

a. Sins of injustice, vs. 1—3

Back in chapter 2, Micah wrote about the Shepherd:

I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. (2:12)

In contrast to that Shepherd, the rulers of Micah’s day behaved in exactly the opposite way. They had a total disregard and disrespect for God, His Law and the people they were charged to care for. The present rulers of the nation “hated good and love evil.” As we read these powerful verses, we see that these rulers were like cannibals, who were guilty of butchering God’s people, skinning them alive, and leaving them to fend for themselves.

God does not like people being treated unjustly by a nation’s leaders. When wickedness and evil take the place of justice and righteousness, there is only Person the people can appeal to: God. Those who practice injustice will ultimately face the God of justice; they cannot escape.

What makes leadership—at any level—fail? When leaders, civic and religious, place their personal preferences, their own ideas, evil, unfairness, and corrupt practices ahead of God’s Word and what God has ordained, that leadership will absolutely fail. These kinds of leaders were spoken of elsewhere in the Old Testament:

Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the LORD. (Psalm 14:4)

…those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humankind. (Proverbs 30:14)

b. God’s refusal to listen, vs. 4

Then they will cry out to the LORD, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.

It’s worse for leaders who plunge onward in ignorant or careless rebellion to God’s will than just ordinary people. People like that have no sense of the sacred stewardship that they has been given them, and of the negative influence they have on people. A leader with no moral authority, though he may say all the right things, will take a nation down the wrong path.

God’s answer to this situation is found in verse 4. Those who abuse their position of authority will find themselves on the outside looking in; utterly alone and without any resources if and when they cry out to God for help. Truly you reap what you sow.  We call this “poetic justice,” and it’s something Solomon taught in Proverbs 21:13—

Those who shut their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

And in the New Testament, James writes about this as well:

…judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

2. God judges corrupt leaders, Micah 3:5—12

Micah zeroed in on the nation’s leaders in the preceding verses, and now he takes aim at another group of leaders: the false prophets of his day.

a. The curse of false prophets, vs. 5—7

For those who could pay their fee, the prophet would give a comforting word. But for the poor, who could not afford to pay a prophet, they were met with another word:

As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if you feed them, they proclaim ‘peace’; if you do not, they prepare to wage war against you. (verse 5)

These “men of God” were as corrupt and greedy as their political counterparts. They were yes-men, mercenary in their motives.

God will not permit this sin of misleading His people to go unpunished. To speak for God is no small matter, and those who do it in an intentionally inaccurate manner, would a “blinding” judgment from God.

The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God. (verse 7)

The judgment on false prophets reminds us of what Jesus said in Matthew 15:14—

Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.

And this was precisely what was happening; the false prophets were deluding the people. These religious hucksters would face an unenviable end. Their false words would be exposed for the lies they were and their false predictions of peace would be exposed by the fact of the Exile and Captivity.

b. Exile predicted, vs. 8—12

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. (verse 8)

In another contrast, Micah is totally different from the false prophets whom he just slammed. He was full of God’s power, and was able and qualified to speak for God.

But people do love the “placebo preacher,” who smiles broadly and dishes out homey bromides by the page. But when times get truly tough, that kind of preacher finds it hard to get work. At critical times, true believers yearn for the truth of God’s Word. The empty, brainless talk of “used car preachers” is cold comfort when it is not backed by God’s dynamic power.

Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets. (verse 12)

In the face of all this blatant hypocrisy, Micah told it like was going to be! This must have taken amazing courage. True servants of God, those of yesterday and today, don’t care about what happens to themselves; they proclaimed the unvarnished Word of God with total disregard for the consequences.

The teaching of James Wolfendale ring true:

When teachers corrupt doctrine, and preachers withhold the gospel; when rulers and princes pervert equity, and neglect special duties for the defense of which they are put in office; they poison the stream of life and turn it into deadly fountains.

Because of all the poison in the land, Micah makes it crystal clear the the Exile on the horizon is a direct result of its corrupt leadership. Jerusalem would fall. The Temple would be destroyed. The leaders would have no one to blame but themselves.

3. A warning to spiritual leaders, Malachi 2:1—9

The last Minor Prophet is also the last book of the Old Testament, and his book is a little different from those of the other Minors. Malachi’s message was not written in poetic form, but in prose. Just like Micah, centuries before, Malachi’s message is full of power, especially for those in power.

Malachi’s message was a direct challenge to the a corrupt priesthood of his day. Malachi accused the people of a lackadaisical attitude toward the Temple and sacrificial system, but their attitude of complacency and indifference to God had grown out the sorry state of the priesthood.

a. A curse on the priests, vs. 1, 2

And now, you priests, this warning is for you. If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.”

The priests were not taking their position seriously; they did not even come close to honoring God in the proper fashion. Malachi, whose name means “my messenger,” was prophesying to the people during the time of Nehemiah and probably shortly before the days of Ezra, as Israel was trying to rebuild Jerusalem and their lives after their return from Exile.

During that Exile, the people had no Temple to worship in, and by the time they were released and allowed to return home, most of the people had never been in a Temple of God and no clue about the importance of the Law and the traditions that made their religion work.

Even the priests were like this. In particular, among other sins, the priests were allowing the sacrifice of lame or sick and diseased animals to the Lord, in defiance of the Law. These priests had no fear or awe of God and certainly no sense of responsibility.

There is nothing worse than a minister who goes into the pulpit with an unbelieving or unfaithful heart; who doles out “Readers Digest”-type sermons and pious platitudes to their congregation. It would be better for them to be the worst sinner on the block.

God’s curse on these priests had already begun, and they probably didn’t even know it. Their words of blessings upon the people would be turned into curses. Things would never improve for the the people as long as these despicable priests were there.

b. Covenant with Levi, vs. 3—6

God was about to make things very difficult for the priests, and ultimately the people. The days of any kind of prosperity were coming to an end. This curse would have far reaching implications for all except those from the tribe of Levi.

c. The true priesthood, vs. 7—9

What the priests should have done and how they should have behaved is held up in contrast to what they had actually been doing. The priests were supposed to be the teachers; the leaders in scholarship. But they had fallen from that ideal in Malachi’s day!

For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. (verses 7, 8)

Instead of leading people to the truth, these priests did the exact opposite! This kind of recklessness violated the covenant God had with Levi. God would not tolerate this kind of thing to continue. To have an ill-prepared minister, a lazy or incompetent pastor, a preacher only interested in lining his pockets is bad enough, but there is nothing worse that a deceiver, a schemer, a wolf in sheep’s clothing behind a pulpit!

So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law. (verse 9)

This seems to be a common judgment on wayward ministers: shame and humiliation. As many commentators have noted, not all the priests were bad, but because of the bad ones, all were tarred with the same brush.

Once again, as has been noted several times in our survey of the Minors, we see the law of reaping and sowing coming into play. Galatians 6:7—

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow.

The religious leaders of Malachi’s day thought they could live as they pleased; that they could dishonor the Name of God with impunity. But the learned, to their everlasting shame, that they were terribly mistaken. They received in their own lives what they had sown in the lives of others.

(c)  2011 WitzEnd

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