When you start learning about something, do you start seeing it everywhere and in everything? When our van of 20 years went caput two summers ago, we started learning about vehicles. As we researched new versus used cars, gas versus electric motors, price points for different features, and evaluated our family’s needs, we began seeing the cars we were considering everywhere, noticing car dealerships, hearing ads, and putting together charts and graphs of our findings to make our final decision. It is not that cars, dealerships, and ads were new just because we were learning about cars. They were always there, but we were just now seeing them because of what we were learning.
- What are you learning in your current season of life? How do you see it in the world around you like you never have before?
The past two weeks we have been learning in Malachi about God’s love and pursuit of His people in which He rebukes them and calls them back into a covenant with Him that brings life and peace. In many contexts, I am now running into God’s covenants everywhere. Not only have we read about it, Joy taught about Old Testament covenants and how to live as new covenant Christians and Brett preached about covenants in the context of Hebrews on Sunday. I even had an old Bible Recap podcast (a great Bible reading plan if you need one) that I had skipped and decided to listen to in the car just so I could clean up my podcast list and it was about God’s covenant with Abraham.
- What are some things you have learned or seen in a new way about God’s covenants with His people from reading Malachi, from our teaching that touched on Genesis and Hebrews, and from studying it on your own?
- How has considering God’s covenants shown you more about who He is and His heart for His people? What has it shown you about your own heart?
Over and over I have been struck by God’s covenants as gifts of grace and demonstrations of His faithfulness. He has established His covenants with His people from the beginning, so we might know Him and be provided for and protected physically, emotionally, and spiritually, bringing life and peace. So, when we read our passage this week in Malachi 2:10-16, put yourself in God’s shoes for a moment.
- How would you feel and what would you do if a person whom you loved and had made a covenant with was violating his or her part of the covenant?
- How would that affect your relationship with this person? How would it affect the relationships around you and that person?
Although God addresses marriage and divorce in this passage, the context is much bigger. God says He hates divorce, but He could easily say He hates broken covenants. He sees the destruction and hurt that comes from broken covenants with marriage being an earthly example. Instead, we are called to be faithful, faithful to our God and faithful to each other that we might reflect and grow in the character of our God.
- We are like the Israelites and can find ourselves unfaithful. What might be in your heart, mind, or actions that is keeping you from being faithful to your God and others?
- Take a moment to reflect on 2 Timothy 2:13 and praise our God for His faithful covenants that bring us life and peace.
Heavenly Father, we humbly come before You and confess that we, too, can be like the Israelites of Malachi. We can find ourselves faithless to what You have called us to do and to who we are in You. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Cast us not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of our salvation and uphold us with a willing spirit, for You are a God who is ever faithful. Amen.
— Jamie Harms