Hope Chapel Blog
Learning and living the Way of Jesus!
Daily Devotional – Monday, July 26, 2021
“They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again.” (Malachi 1:4b, NLT)
Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to read through the book of Malachi a number of times and I have been struck by the fact that our self-determination alone, apart from God, will never be sufficient to ensure success. Malachi lived during the time after the Babylonian exile. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple had been rebuilt, but the people had quickly fallen back into their pre-exile patterns. They had allowed disloyalty to God to once again creep in and it showed up in their treatment of others and their insincere worship. They had quickly reverted to having an appearance of loyalty over actually being loyal. And worst yet, they were in complete denial.
Any time we as humanity go through challenging times, our first instinct is often to reach out to God—pleading for His help in the face of our very unmistakable helplessness. Yet, even while praying for His intervention, how often are we guilty of trying to apply our very own solutions, especially when the tide appears to finally be turning? When the Babylonians were at the height of their power, it was not just the Israelites who found themselves a conquered people. Then, under the rule of the Medo-Persian empire, many of these conquered peoples returned to their home territories. Malachi begins his warning to the Israelites, by calling their attention to their distant relatives, the Edomites. He urges them not to be like these descendants of Esau, who after having faced a shared destruction of their own had determined to rebuild, never considering the fact that they would be doing so without God’s blessing? God had allowed the Babylonians to bring about wide scale disruption, to set the nations on a new course, in order that they would recognize their foolishness of attempting to live life apart from God. But they refused to learn, determined to set their own course to reestablish themselves and God denounced their efforts as futile. No matter how much effort they put in, it would all be for nothing, because they refused to acknowledge God and their need to honour Him.
God allows disruption into our lives, often for the same reason—to provided a course correction back to Him. We are then faced with a choice. We can either turn from doing things our own way and determine to serve God, as is His due, or attempt to grit our teeth and rebuild those things lost due to the disruption God allowed, choosing to ignore the lessons He is attempting to teach us in order that we can get back to the way things were. God will not bless those who choose to ignore His call to return to Him. Why should He approve of our endeavours that He knows will simply leave us separated from Him? He won’t. We may try to rebuild, but without learning the lessons God wants us to acquire through disruption, what we build can never last. God does not allow these disruptions into our lives because He is cruel, but rather because He loves us and knows what is required to get our attention. He provides course corrections because He sees where our self-reliance will lead us—living under the control of our own selfish desires and pride. God knows that the best place for each one of us is in relationship with Him, our Creator and loving Heavenly Father.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!