"Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says Yahweh of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations." - Malachi 1:14
Malachi (435-415 bc) was a prophet during the days of Nehemiah (445-415 bc). His is the last book of the Old Testament. In chapter one, God castigates Israel for offering blind, lame, and sick animals upon the altar at the temple in Jerusalem. They are not treating God with appropriate honour, even though God is the great King over the nations.
Here are some principles: (1) the God of Israel, Yahweh, is indeed the great King over the nations; and (2) it is our responsibility as human beings to give God proper respect by offering the very best of ourselves to him. God deserves our best because our whole existence depends on him.
Father, am I treating you, the great King, with proper respect? In what ways do I better need to give you my best? Help me to manage my time well. Help me to find the right time balance when it comes to my relationship with you, my relationship with my wife and children, servant leadership at Caversham Community Church, our FFNZ ministry, the Air Force, scholarship, exercise, gardening, outdoor exploration, and music. In all these areas, help me to offer you my best. Most of all, help me not to skip over personal prayer time with you, Lord. With all the paths available in life, direct my steps to the paths that will make the most difference for eternity.
Father, please help the believers in Afghanistan and Haiti today. Provide for their basic needs of safety, shelter, and sustenance. I especially pray for the Christians in Afghanistan. Please, God, may the Taliban restrain their violence so that Christians can live peacefully. Look out for your people, Lord, for you are the great King. Act in accordance with your holy zeal. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman