Chances are, if you have ever heard a verse quoted, alluded to or preached from the last book in the Old Testament, it is Malachi 3:10: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…” An important command to the Jews of the 8th century BC. And a valuable principle for us to apply as Christians. But it seems to be no more than a comfortable hobby-horse for some preachers to ride and mighty uncomfortable saddle for some to sit.
Yet some of the richest and most vivid prophecies in the Scriptures are found here for those who pay attention. Look at Malachi 1:13 for example: “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.”
In our obligatory reading thru the Bible, this doesn’t seem to be of sufficient importance to the average Christian to stop and think about what it reveals to us of God’s heart. Let me ask you, when is the last time you purposely took the time to meditate on it?
“From sunrise to sunset” is not just a poetic way of expressing “all day long”. It literally means from one end of the earth to the other. It means all people who experience a sunrise and a sunset. God’s earnest desire is that all people who do will have a loving relationship with Him Who made the sun. He explicitly states that He is not just talking to the Jews. He means every nation. The word the Holy Spirit dictated to Malachi was the word usually translated “gentile”, meaning all non-Jewish nations.
Look again at the last phrase in chapter 1: “for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.” “Dreadful”, according to the Bible dictionary means ‘be held in awe, or honor and respect’. Again God reveals that His heart’s desire is to be known and loved in every nation, among all people.
But, not only does it show us God’s craving, the yearning and longing of His heart for world evangelization, it is a prophetic utterance of His voice. He emphatically states it, three times in 1:13 as a declaration of fact. He prophesies that it “SHALL BE”! It IS going to happen. Romans 10 tells us that the only way that these Gentile, pagan nations will praise our Lord is that they hear about Him from some one OF US who already know Him.
So many of the world’s captives are pre-occupied with the ‘end of the world’ predictions. So many are snared by the Santa Claus myth. The multitudes are in such hurry to purchase and party.
Christians, squeezed into the world’s mold are rushing on past God’s plan for the church in these latter days. We have swallowed the devil’s lie that these the ‘world’s economic downturn’ has all but depleted God’s abounding supply.
Yes, this is a ‘hurry-worry’ world we are caught in here in North America. Yes, the economy is bad and getting worse. Yes, the problem of aggressive Islam and other forms of terrorism make it more dangerous for ambassadors of the Cross than at any time since the Romans were burning us and feeding us to the lions.
These things can scare us into inaction. Or they can motivate us to renewed resolve. They can terrorize us into a paralyzed failure or provoke us to press on.
The choice is ours. What will you choose? To be faithful in the fight and focus on the victory or miss the greatest privilege in the universe? The privilege of telling the world that the Savior of the world has already been born. And that same Savior is coming again!
Will you be an ambassador to take this good news to some people who never heard it and never had a chance to hear? You can be a part of fulfilling God’s prophetic Word!