I just finished reading through a Chronological reading plan of the Old Testament. Before I begin the New tomorrow, I had a few thoughts.
Malachi is obviously the last book in the OT. It was written about 100 years after Zechariah and Nehemiah. After the latter books, the Jews thought the coming of the Messiah was imminent. Probably any day. They had restored the Temple and Jerusalem’s walls after all. Wasn’t it time for them to be restored to glory? And yet, 100 years had passed and nothing. They started to believe God had forgotten about them. Or maybe they were simply forgetting about God. I can’t imagine what life was like after another 400 years of complete silence on God’s behalf. Did they even fear God at all anymore? Or was He simply a mythic creature in fairy tales that they told their children?
As I read the explanation of Malachi in How to read the Bible through the Jesus Lens, I couldn’t help but think that it sounds a lot like the Church today. Only we are no longer awaiting the initial coming of our Messiah, but the return and full establishment of His kingdom here on earth. We long for the promises of Revelation that every tear will be wiped away and suffering will have no place apart from the throes of hell. But believers have waited. And waited. And waited. And I think slowly, but surely, we are forgetting. God and Jesus are becoming figures on felt storyboards in Awana classrooms. No longer real, powerful, awe-inspiring, ALIVE. We have the Holy Spirit, but do we rely on His power? Do we even believe anymore in His help in our lives?
How long did it take after Jesus’ ascent, do you suppose, before people started to get bored waiting for his promised return?
Wouldn’t an eager anticipation for the final, perfect, complete establishment of the KINGDOM OF GOD instill in us a greater sense of devotion and surrender to our God?
My prayer is that we would not waste the time in between. I pray we are not bored, and that our excitement would intrigue the world around us. I pray that my words would not condemn me as a hypocrite, praying for excitement, yet living in boredom and forgetfulness.