MALACHI 1:1-2:17 | REVELATION 21:1-27 | PSALM 149:1-9 | PROVERBS 31:10-24
Today, we enter another prophetic book in the Old Testament called the Book of Malachi.
Malachi, the prophet, starts out with exhortations to the people of Israel, and in particular to the priests of the temple regarding certain social and religious practices of the day. There are lessons to be had even from these ancient exhortations for us today.
To paraphrase Malachi, these are: give to the Lord the best of what you have, not your leftovers. Give the best of your time and resources always. And don’t make God an afterthought!
Moving on to our reading of the Book of Revelation, the final chapters speak of the new order of things to come: A new heaven and a new earth.
Read carefully, gentle reader! What a beautiful, peaceful, and joyous place that will be! This is a God who is not content to sit upon a throne– instead, he will himself wipe away every tear from our eyes.
John writes: 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
And this new city is glittering with every known jewel and is beautiful beyond imagination. But one of the most striking features of the city is that there is no temple within it!
John writes: 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
Turning next to our reading in the book of Psalms, we find the Psalmist exhorting the children of Israel to offer up praises to the Lord Almighty. David, the poet-warrior king of Israel says:
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.
Finally, the reading for the day from the Book of Proverbs is the well-known one on the qualities of the virtuous wife. I reproduce it in whole here because it is truly an excellent yardstick for every woman to aspire to. This is from the more well-known and oft-quoted King James version (KJV):
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.