Anything we encounter frequently runs the risk of becoming undervalued, taken for granted, and even disrespected. From good health to material blessings to long-time spouses, familiarity breeds complacency. Sadly, our relationship with God is not exempt. The priests in Malachi’s day had grown indifferent to God’s majesty and thus negligent in their responsibilities. We face the same danger and are presented with the same hope: redemption through the perfect Priest whose lips preserved knowledge, whose feet walked in righteousness, and whose blood atoned for all who trust in Him.
Our words have tremendous potential for good or ill. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a harsh invective, you know how powerful they can be. The book of Proverbs recognized this power and our potential to misuse it, so Solomon gives us a number of important norms that must govern our use of words.
Immediate departures from the faith are rare. Far more often, we experience a gradual decline, or slipping, that we barely notice. Over time, we find ourselves far from the Lord, having forgotten our first love. But God seeks us in our apathy and draws us back to Himself through His steadfast love, centered in Christ.
World War I was called “the war to end all wars” yet human strife and misery have continued ever since. The reason is because our ultimate enemies are sin and death, and they can only be defeated by God Himself. Zechariah 14 gives us a glorious picture of the future when God will vanquish evil and save His people to sin no more through our sinless Savior, Jesus Christ.