“‘My name will be great among the nations from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty.'”Malachi 1:11 NIV.
[Thought questions for Lest We Forget June 26, 2013]
1. Blessings come with responsibility. Did God intend to choose a special nation, bestow unnumbered blessings upon them and then build an everlasting New World for them to enjoy? Is that God’s plan of salvation? Or is something missing in such a scenario? Something the members of that chosen nation must do? What would that be? Who would be included, under God’s plan, in the final, glorious nation? How does that matter to you and me? What can we do about it?
2. Great is the Lord. Did God really hate Esau? If not, what does the word “hate” mean in Malachi 1:2? Why weren’t the people commended for saving money bringing lame and sick animals to be sacrificed at the altar? What was the connection between the sacrificed animals and Jesus? Do you and I ever offer less than our best to the Lord’s service? Do we ever give other aspects of our life a higher priority than walking with Jesus? If so, what can we do about it?
3. Tithe. Mention “Malachi,” and what word comes to mind? Is the tithe mentioned only in Malachi? Can you establish from Scripture the principle of returning 10 percent of your increase to the Lord? Do you ever feel you’re in a bind and that surely God won’t mind if you skip paying tithe for a while? Who is being tested by the tithing principle–(A) you and I when we turn in our tithe; (B) God when He blesses us for our faithfulness.
4. Evil goes unpunished. Have you ever been mightily disturbed because some people get by with shady dealing and reap a nice profit while you with your honest ways can barely make ends meet? Is God with you or not? Have you ever seen a case thrown out of court because of lack of evidence? Imagine standing before the Judge of eternity and hearing that there just isn’t any evidence to show you are the son or daughter of the King. How important should it be for all of us to accept God’s righteousness and turn to Him for the results?
5. Sun of righteousness. Your lesson for Thursday contains the interesting note that “the proud will be destroyed along with the wicked.” Does that mean that being proud is not so wicked? God with his infinite wisdom and power…Do you think He’ll have any problem separating those of us who truly seek Him with all our hearts from those who do not care about Him or even oppose Him? Elijah helped God’s people welcome Jesus after the close of the Old Testament. What prophetic role has Elijah played in the end time as well as during the time of the prophets?
6. Marriage. Do you think Satan is trying to tear the institution of marriage to shreds? In what ways? Could it be that standards and practices have changed over time, and that we should get used to these new norms rather than going around feeling morose because marriage doesn’t get the respect it deserves?
7. Ultimate destruction. Can you imagine everything that is evil no longer existing? Take five minutes out of your day that you consider perfect, without a flaw. During that five minutes, does anything not so good creep in? Can we escape the bruises of sin this side of heaven? But some of our sins have brought us pleasure, haven’t they? What does God plan to do with sin? Even sin that was fun. Eliminate it with one stroke? Allow it to cease piece by piece in the fury of God’s final fire? What matters most to you about the destruction of sin?