You know how it goes – we love the Lord and worship Him and declare that He is good. But when things take a turn for the worst, we turn and rail against God and blame Him and question Him. We wonder where He was when the bad things happened. We wonder why He didn’t do anything to stop the pain and suffering. Then, God says “I have loved you…” (Malachi 1:2) and in our pain we cry out, “HOW have You loved us?” or “Can’t You see what is happening? Where is Your so-called love??” Has that ever been you? It’s been me! Thank the Lord He is so understanding, long-suffering, gracious, slow to anger and merciful! Remember that His ways are not anything like ours (Is. 55:8-9) and how we understand life, from our temporal perspective of time and eternity, is limited.
At the point in time the book of Malachi was written, the temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt by Nehemiah and a form of worship had been restored, but much was still lacking in relationship between the Lord and His people. Worship had become routine and filled with idolatry. The priesthood had become corrupt. Divorce was rampant, tithing had been neglected. The people had a semblance of godliness yet it was a sham. They were not living under God’s blessing because they were half-hearted in their worship and neglectful of the principles God had given them to live by. However, they blamed God for their troubles, refusing to examine themselves.
Dear God, How Have You Loved Me?!
Even so, in spite of it all, “I have loved you,” says the Lord. The people replied: How have You loved us?! This was God’s people crying out in their indignation, “Prove it to me!” Yet their entire history is filled with evidence of the love of God from their exodus to their many deliverances from and victories over their enemies- in spite of their continued departure from God, their betrayal, their idolatry. In Jeremiah the Lord said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Even through the hardest times that come as a result of the ravages of sin, the Lord has always been faithful to continually draw His people to Himself. That is the essences of everlasting love. He still desires you. He still desires your worship so you can be close to Him.
The choices the Jews made got them into trouble and set them apart from God yet He continually rescued them, drew them close, provided, guided, sheltered, healed, spoke and He never stopped. We all do it – We demand answers from the Lord, shout accusations, shake Him off and cry out to God in our pain, How have You loved us?! and we forget all the times we saw His unchanging goodness, His mighty works, the answered prayers, the needs met, the times of plenty and our many victories. God is GOOD and we worship Him not because life is good, but because GOD is good!
Thought for today: An Everlasting Love from an Everlasting Father
The Lord desires your heart, but giving yourself to Him is not a one-time act. It’s a daily one. It is not an easy thing to give yourself to the Lord as life crowds in with its trials. The enemy wants to disconnect you from the Lord, to tempt you to accuse Him- as Satan does, but, “The Lord has appeared… saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3) He wants to come close. He invites you, always, to enter into His gates, but you must invite Him, too. That is the essence of praise and worship.
Because of Jesus Christ, you don’t have to be perfect. You are counted as worthy and righteous. You are desired. The Lord has loved you with an everlasting love. We struggle to understand that because our love is conditional, temporary and flawed, but God has proven that and He is willing to remind you if you forget. If you find yourself crying out: How have You loved me?! ask God to show you, to bring to your memory the times He proved His love to you, to your family. “I will remember the years at the right hand of the Most High”, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 77:10. In the book of Malachi, the Lord made a point to restore worship back into order before He restored anything else. Why? Because He wants to connect with you. He loves you. That’s whe we worship!
The Lord Wants to Show You More About His Everlasting Love! Read More Here:
- “How Can the Steadfast Love of the Lord Triumph Over Hate?”
- “If There is No Fear in Love, What Are You Afraid Of?”
- “Does God Require Worship? Or Desire it?”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!