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God’s Word for You

Malachi 3:11-12 promises and oomf

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Monday, May 3, 2021

11 I will restrain the devouring swarm so that it will not destroy your produce from your soil. Your vine in the field will not be without fruit, says the LORD of Armies.

God continues his promise, which began as a rebuke to Judah because of the way they robbed him of their gifts. Those were gifts that he commanded them to give in order to support the ancient ministers of the church, the priests and other Levites. Someone might say, “But in the parable of the good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite give no help to the wounded man; they pass by on the other side (Luke 10:31-32).” Of course that’s true, but that was a parable, not a condemnation of God’s entire priesthood. Someone might say, “The priests and Levites don’t do anything for the economy of Israel.” That was true, too, but it was what God had commanded (Numbers 18:21). Or there might be dozens of other accusations. This was not the time to raise human judgments. God had already condemned the sins of the priests in this book (Malachi 1:6-2:9). But now he has said that he will purify the sons of Levi, the priests and the other Levites. It’s time for the people to evaluate their own obedience to God’s commands. God’s promise for obedience? “I will restrain the devouring swarm. Your vine, even your dirt, will not be without fruit.” God wants to bless us. Are you someone who always seems to struggle with having enough? God wants you to trust in him. He will supply your needs. He wants to bless you so that you can serve him. He will even hold back and divert the swarms of bugs that nibble at your neighbors’ fields and gardens. He will surround you in all things.

12 All the nations will call you blessed, because you will be a delightful land, says the LORD of Armies.

When the people rob God (Malachi 3:8) and force their ministers to scrape out a living while neglecting the gospel, what blessings do they deprive themselves of? What kind of loss will follow? One loss is the benefit of God’s name, the reputation that God’s people have when his amazing blessings surround them. God says: “If you trust me, I will bless you in such a way that the world will wish it were you.”

Just to add ‘oomf’ and make his point, God uses his title, “LORD of Armies.” He has made broad promises, and he has the power to keep them all. He is the Creator, the Almighty, and he commands the vast armies of heaven’s angels, who do his will and nothing else. “Then,” the LORD promises, “they will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord, and you will be called ‘Sought After,’ ‘the City No Longer Deserted’” (Isaiah 62:12). To be blessed by God is to be brought into his arms, his lap, his fellowship; his family. He has seated you at his table. Who wouldn’t do anything to remain there? But all he asks of us is to put our trust in him. He will do everything else. He has already done it.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

 

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