“Israel’s Defiance; God’s Gift”
As children we are normally defiant towards our parents at some point in time. As a child I was a very mischievous child and I attempted to get into everything I could. When my parents told me not to do something I would immediately do the opposite. Now I realize that their rules were not to hinder my fun but their rules were there to keep me safe. God does the same for us and he exemplifies that through the Israelites.
“For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of servants; and I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam before thee (Malachi 6:4).” In this verse Jesus reminds the Israelites of the great work He has done despite their defiance. God brought them out of Egypt and into a land of pure milk and honey yet they did not trust Him. In the New American Commentary, Bailey says, “He gave them competent human leaders: Moses the great lawgiver and human founder of Israel as a separate, recognized national entity; Aaron, the high priestly mediator; and Miriam, a prophetess and poet.” God gave well equipped and prepared people to lead the people of Israel yet they did not listen. Other prophets were given to Israel such as Isaiah, Micah, and Hosea but the people continued to stray away from the covenant they made with God.
“O my people, remember now what Balak the king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from the Acacia Grove to Gilgal so that you may know the righteousness of the Lord (Malachi 6:5).” God reminded the Israelites of what Balak did and how God helped them. Balak wanted to curse the Israelites but instead God used Balaam to bless the Israelites. Earlier God reminded the people that He brought them out of Egypt and now at the end of verse 5 He reminds them of their entrance into the Promised Land. Gilgal was their first stop west of the Jordan River where God parted the waters so they could enter into the land God promised the Israelites. Bailey said, “These saving deeds of the Lord demonstrated his righteous character. He was in the right and they were in the wrong.”
“With what shall I come before the Lord when I come to bow myself before the high God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old (Malachi 6:6)?”Finally the Israelites answered and asked what they could do to fix this problem. This seems like they just wanted to get God off their backs. The Israelites recognized that God is a high God they even were going to bow down to him but they thought a simple burnt offering was enough. For other “gods” a burnt offering would have been enough but God wanted more. God wanted the Israelites, His people, to give their lives to Him and not worship anything else.
How do you relate to the Israelites today? Do you just give God burnt offerings or do you give Him every second of everyday? We should remember that giving God a simple Sunday or a small prayer isn’t enough. We should give God everything we have because He loves and cares for us. He gave you His Son to die on the cross for your sins and in return you should give your life to Him.