Often times we wonder why God does not bless us. We cry out to God for revival but nothing ever happens. We live in a nation that is experiencing the judgment of God. This judgment of God, the natural consequences of sin comes as a direct result of our unfaithfulness to Him. This is exactly what the prophet Malachi was experiencing in his day.
The children of Israel developed a false sense of security in their relationship with God. They thought that since they had a privileged relationship with God then their wickedness would go unnoticed. However, they were sadly mistaken. God does see our wickedness. He knows who we really are. Even the sins of believers must be judged by God to some extent. There are several things we see about our relationship with God in the book of Malachi.
First of all we see that God does not bless insincere worship. Look at Malachi 1:7-14. Here we find the children of Israel bringing sacrifices to God, yet God does not receive their sacrifices. They come to worship Him but God does not recognize their worship. The reason for this is the condition of their hearts. They were just going through the motions of worship. There was no true commitment, love, and passion for the things of God. How often are we also insincere in our worship? We come to church on Sunday’s and do the same thing week in and week out. We dress in our pretty outfits, we smile as if everything is just perfect, we sing our hymns, we give our money, we listen to the preacher preach, yet we never change. We worship out of habit or a feeling of obligation rather than out of a pure love for God. We teach these ways to our children as well. We raise up ‘cookie-cutter’ Christians. We look the same, we talk the same, and we act the same, but for what purpose? We even have our own ‘Christian’ accent. Think about. Have you ever noticed it? I challenge you to go to your church one Sunday and just listen. Listen to how the tone of people’s voices are different in church than they are during the week. Notice how we have our Christians ‘lingo’, words that only Christians can understand. Consider how we do the same thing and say the same things every Sunday. God forbid if somebody does something different. What if somebody dressed different? What if somebody sings different? What if somebody disrupts our ‘order’ of service? I am afraid that even if the Spirit of God was poured out and things began to happen that was out of the ordinary, we would be shouting ‘blasphemy’! We are so accustomed to our ways that if revival ever broke out, we would not even realize it. Where in the Bible does it say that church has to be in a certain order? Where in the Bible does it say that we are to sing a certain number of songs? Where in the Bible does it say we are to speak differently at church? Where in the Bible does it say we are to use only one style of music in our worship? Where in the Bible does it say that the preacher has to fit into a certain mold and sound a certain way when he preaches. Are we not also insincere in our worship? Where is the passion? Where is the hunger for God? Where is the purity? Where is the faithfulness to His Word? We wonder why God does not bless our churches. We wonder why our churches are filled with immature believers or no true believers at all. Yet, we still go through the motions. No power. No newness. No excitement. Just the same thing week in and week out.
Not only does God not bless insincere worship, but we also see in Malachi 2:13-16 that God does not bless a sinful life. In these verses, the children of Israel are asking why God does not acknowledge their worship. The answer is that they have sinned. Specifically they have committed adultery. They deal with their spouses ‘treacherously’. They do not take the institution of marriage and the home seriously. This is exactly our problem today. We are so quick to judge our society. We stand up and speak out against the sins of America. We have preached that God will judge America for their sins. Listen to me, God is not judging America for the sins of the lost, God is judging America for the sins of His people. We wonder why God does not do something, yet we ourselves commit adultery. We ourselves have degraded the foundational institution of marriage. How so? How have we degraded marriage? With our eyes. With our minds. With our lips. With our ears. With our acceptance. We are no longer bothered by seeing sex acts on television. We are no longer bothered by seeing advertisements that promote immorality. We are no longer bothered by divorce. We have accepted divorce as normal. It’s just a part of our culture. We even encourage Christians to get a divorce if things are not working out. Yet in Malachi 2:16 it says that ‘He hates divorce.’ The New Testament even takes it further when it says that if you divorce and then remarry, you are an adulterer. The church is filled with divorce. The church is filled with those engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage. The church is filled with men and women addicted to pornography. We don’t like to talk about these things. We think it’s just a private matter. We accept it. Yet, we wonder why God does not send a revival? We wonder why God does not bless America? Hmmmm. I wonder why? Listen to me closely child of God; a sinful life will never be blessed by God. There is so much we miss out on. So many wonderful blessings from God, but we never see them because of our sin.
A third thing we see in Malachi is that God does not bless disobedience. Look at Malachi 3:6-18. God has commanded us to give. You may say, ‘well, tithing is an Old Testament thing.’ I don’t think you want me to respond to that. The New Testament takes giving to a whole new level. The New Testament teaches that we are to give sacrificially. The New Testament teaches that we are to give everything to God. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like the Old Testament way of the tithe far better! It is said that only 12% of born-again Christians tithe. 23% give nothing. Think about it. The Bible says a lot about giving. Yet, we do not give. Why? Because we are a bunch of low-down selfish, greedy, and materialistic people. We care more about our stuff than we do the things of God. 23% of all Christians give nothing, yet we wonder what is wrong with our churches. My friend, you cannot out give God. Now I am not preaching a prosperity gospel here but I can tell you from personal experience, that when you give with the right motive, God will bless you for it. You will always have everything you need, when you give. The tithe is just the basic. Giving 10% is a good place to start. But, we should strive to give sacrificially. We should strive to give everything. I dare you. Try to out give God and see what happens. Go crazy with your giving and trust God to provide. God will never bless His people. He will never send revival until we obey Him in every aspect of our lives, including giving.
A final thing we see in the book of Malachi is found in 4:1-6 and that is that God will judge sin. In the context of this passage we are dealing with the sins of believers. Our sins are paid for by the blood of Jesus. We will not go to hell for our sin. But, sin does have consequences. God will not allow His people to go on sinning without sending judgment. I really believe that what is happening in America today is the very judgment of God on the church. We are in the state we are in today because of our sin. Unless God’s people humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, God will never heal our land, it will only get worse. What is going to take? Complete financial collapse? More natural disasters? Terrorist attacks? Wars? Laws that attack our faith and freedoms? What will God have to do to get our attention. Mark it down; unfaithfulness to God will not go unpunished. How do we get things back in order? What will it take for God to send revival? It begins with you and with me. Each of us as individual believers must examine our own lives. We must allow the Spirit of God to cut deep into our souls and reveal our sin. We must seek forgiveness of those sins. We must do whatever we have to do, no matter how extreme, to turn ourselves away from our wicked ways. We must then turn to God and ask for Him to remember mercy in the midst of His wrath. May God help each of us to not look at the sins of others, but to look at our own sins and repent and turn back to God. Then and only then will God receive our worship, pour out a blessing, and heal our land.