“”I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have you loved us?”” – Malachi 1:2
Scripture reading: Hebrews 12:1-29
These people, unfortunately, question God’s love and don’t believe Him. Their question reveals a lack of a suitable response to the love the LORD has extended to them. Instead of accepting and rejoicing over His love, they question it. Also understand, these people were not openly rebellious against the LORD. They have returned to the land after the Babylonian captivity. Some of them may have worked with Nehemiah on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They were outwardly following the Law of Moses and offering sacrifices. If you had asked how they were doing spiritually, they would have said, “We are doing just fine, thanks.” But that’s not what the LORD says! He knew their hearts and desires.
As they looked at their circumstances, things were not going as they expected, so they grew discouraged. They were still under the authority of the Persian king and his appointed governor. Their farms were not doing well because of drought (3:10-11). Many of them were probably thinking, if this is love why does it seem like the opposite!
Like Israel, we will grow indifferent to God’s great love for us if we focus on our difficult circumstances rather than God’s plan and purpose for us. If we focus on our problems, they will consume us and cause us to lose joy in Christ and His love for us. Have you lost perspective? Are you questioning GOD’s love for you in Christ? Have you allowed something in your life to become greater than God and that consumes you?
Suggestions for prayer
Pray the LORD will enable you to rest in His great love for you. Ask the LORD to grant you a genuine faith that will stand up to all the trials and sorrows in life, a faith in Christ alone for salvation.
Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.