Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, June, 2017

posted Jun 1, 2017, 6:51 PM by Lois Kerchner

You Can Count On Him

 Recently, as the Disciple Bible Study class was approaching the conclusion of the section on the OT prophets, we took a look at the book of Malachi. Malachi is the last book found in the Old Testament and starts off like this. “A prophecy: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. 'I have loved you,' says the Lord” (Malachi 1:1-2a). 

 The name Malachi means “my messenger.” God has a message (by way of Malachi) for his people, and he wants to make sure they take it seriously from the start. This is a prophecy, God says; this is my word through my messenger. God even uses his covenant name, which in the Hebrew text is YHWH (Yahweh). In English this is often rendered as “the Lord” (with small capital letters). This is the same name God used to describe himself when he made a covenant with his people through Moses as found in Exodus 3:10-20. Then, in the message through Malachi, God adds again, “says the Lord,” making clear that this is important.

 So what is this important message that God makes such a very big deal? Very simply, it is “I have loved you.” God’s love is the most important message of the entire Bible, and God’s love is the central message of Malachi. God loves us.

 Karl Barth (1886-1968) is regarded by many as the greatest Protestant theologian of the 20th century. On a lecture tour of the U.S. in 1962, when asked by a student if he could summarize his whole life's work in theology in one sentence, Barth is purported to have said something like “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.'”

This is the familiar song we teach our children: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so – #191 in the Hymnal.

 Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so;

Little ones to Him belong; They are weak but He is strong.



Jesus take this heart of mine; Make it pure and wholly Thine.

Thou hast bled and died for me; I will live henceforth for Thee.

Yes, Jesus loves, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me,

The Bible tells me so.

Throughout the rest of the book of Malachi God’s people ask him a lot of questions, and behind each one they are wondering, “How have you loved us?” and God always assures them that his love never fails, not even for a moment.

 God's love for his children remains firm, even if you aren’t sure at times. Even if you don’t really know him yet. Even if you know him, but have been resisting him or living in rebellion against him. God still loves you, and he very much wants you to know that. God will never leave us or forsake us.

 That message is a summary of the entire Bible as illustrated from Hebrews 13:5 where it quotes from Deut. 31:6 in telling us to be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” We can always count on Him!

 

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries
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