Archive for the 'Book of Malachi' Category

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Malachi 4:1-3 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

At first glance, this passage looks like primitive wish-fulfillment — God, kill all my enemies and make my life a paradise. (OK, maybe not just primitive people think this way.)

But I’m struck by how similar the description of God’s action/presence is for both the wicked and the righteous. Since the wicked are consumed by fire, wouldn’t you expect the righteous to relax by cooling streams? Instead, they’re in the warm sunshine. I wonder…

Maybe they’re both in the same place, and rather than being “acted upon” by God, are simply in God’s presence — God’s holy presence that consumes all that is not righteous.

Maybe how I will respond to God’s presence/judgment will depend entirely on how open I am (and have been) to the work of God already.

So if I’m counted among “all the arrogant and all evildoers” — which I see as being a rejection of God’s way of life — then God’s presence burns all that away. It would surely feel like a searing flame if the greater part of my being — or all of me — were consumed.

If I’ve allowed God into my space already, and God has already been at work “burning away” the chaff of my heart, then God’s presence feels to me like the warm sunshine.

Thought for the day: When I’m directly present with God, will it feel like sunshine? Or are there parts of my life that will still burn away?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.