The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.
1:5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, 'Great is the Lord' - even beyond the borders of Israel!"
All people can say with confidence
"Great is the Lord," but to become a believer, a person's eyes have to
1:7 "You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say 'How have we defiled Thee?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised.' "
God wants our first fruits, our best work, our prime time, not the poor quality stuff. When they had animal sacrifices in Old Testament times, he didn't want the sick or diseased animals, but only the best to be used in worship. Am I doing the best work, or giving Him priority in my time? While trying, I have a ways to go! (DRM 8/20/07)
1:8 "But when you present the blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, it it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
In Leviticus 22:22, God clearly stated not to
use blind or sick animals for the sacrifice offered to Him. The priests were to
eat this food (Lev. 21:22) and now the Jews were offering these animals that no
one should eat. Certainly they wouldn't give a sick animal to their human
leader, why give it to God who watches over them?
2:1,2 "And now, this commandment is for you, O priests." 2If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the Lord Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.
I know that there are many pastors, priests and ministers that are not born-again believers in the Lord. They don't seem to want others to go to the Kingdom and don't lead others to the way of salvation. I think this verse (v.2) is directed to them. We all need to read the Word more, internalize it, and commit ourselves to following it's instruction. (DRM 8/21/07)
[re: 2:2] Sometimes I wonder why things don't go the way I expected or planned them to. I do know from tonight's verse, that the most important thing in my life should be to serve Him, not in fear of punishment, but because it should be enjoyable to do so. (DRM 2/8/87)
2:10 "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?"
I interpret this as a "Christian question," even though it was written to the Jews, it can be used for everyone. If God created each one of us, then why do we deal harshly with each other? Why criticize and find faults? Why not go directly to the person who is complaining and ask "why are you doing this?" If we are all part of one family, all created by one Father, why not try to agree to further His Kingdom? (DRM 8/22/07)
3:1 "BEHOLD, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you will seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.
Some of the first few verses of this chapter seem to refer to Jesus' first coming and others to His second. I think this verse is for the first, as John the Baptist was God's messenger, to prepare the way for Jesus. The temple was still standing, and He was there soon after His birth. Today I don't see the temple being rebuilt until after Jesus comes to take His church - which will also be sudden. (DRM 8/23/07)
3:10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts. "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
This is a great promise of the Lord, and I have felt it in my life. Even this verse is controversial, though, as some ministries preach that if we give THEIR ministries the monetary tithe, then we will receive a monetary reward. I think that the Lord rewards in different ways - like health or wisdom or discernment or other gifts. (DRM 8/24/07)
3:17 "They will be Mine," says the Lord of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him."
I have no doubt that the Lord loves those who love Him and serve Him in this life in some way or another. It only makes sense that if He is planning a large event or fire or final chapter on the unbelieving world, that He would protect those who already love Him and serve Him. To me, this is a motive to continue in the faith and work for His glory - until the final day. (DRM 8/30/07)
3:18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
The Lord God knows all that we think and do.
He knows those that fear/love Him and esteem His name (v. 16) and those that
don't. The book of remembrance (v. 16) seems to refer to what we call the Lamb's
Book of Life (Rev. 20:15). This verse continues that thought.