1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

MALACHI - One Nation...Under God?

One nation.

Under God.

I am thrilled by that phrase. But a question arises in my mind, "Are we really?"

It's a sobering thought, isn't it?

I am deeply concerned about our great nation. And I am NOT speaking about politics here. Because no matter what your political affiliations are, as a Christian, you've got to be dismayed about the spiritual health of America.

I look beyond the political climate. Look at our culture, our morals, our values, our priorities. We are skewed and twisted – falling woefully short of God’s standards. Under God? Obedience might as well be a four-letter word…

It makes me sad, it makes me mad – and it makes me more than a little scared.

What's this country coming to?

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" was an extremely timely passage, I thought. It's from the book of Malachi:

"'I am not pleased with you,' says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, 'and I will not accept your offerings. But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer…pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,' says the LORD…'But you dishonor my name with your actions…'" (Malachi 1:10-12)


Let's start with a little background on Malachi.

He was the last Old Testament prophet, and he preached about 430 B.C. The Israelites had returned to their homeland from exile, and the Temple had been rebuilt for almost a century. However, the people were losing their enthusiasm for worship. There was apathy and disillusionment because the Messiah had not arrived. Many of the sins that had led to the downfall of Jerusalem in 568 B.C. were still being practiced in Judah.

Malachi courageously confronted the hypocrites with their sins. He portrayed a graphic dialogue between a holy God and His hard-hearted people.

Though today's verses were originally directed at the priests, I think there's a universal message in there that can be applied to our country, too.

Are we callous about sin?

Are we apathetic about injustice?

Are we obsessed with our own pursuits?

Are we worshiping the idols of fame, fortune, and power?

Are we self-centered and proud?

Are we hypocrites?

Malachi dedicated himself to proclaiming God's message to his countrymen. He tried to give them a spiritual *wake-up call.* They didn't respond.

And then God was *silent* for more than 400 years. The heavens seemed closed to the nation of Israel. They heard nothing from God…

…until He sent His Son.

Sometimes I wonder – is God issuing us a warning? Are we on the brink of punishment? Are we testing His patience, and taking His favor for granted? Are we abusing His mercy?

God deserves our very best – our honor, respect, and faithfulness.

Where is our country on that one??

Where are we, as individuals, as believers?

Take today to evaluate the depth of your commitment to Christ. Test the sincerity of your worship. Ponder the direction of your life.

Are you a person who lives – under God?

I pray for a revival for our nation, a turning back to the God who has blessed us. I pray for the tide of pride and sin and corruption to be reversed. I pray for our leaders and ourpeople. I pray…

But, I'm starting with me.

Lord, help me to honor You and Your name. Enable me to offer You pure offerings that are sweet and pleasing to You. Give me courage to proclaim You to others. And may I never dishonor Your name by my actions. Lord, help me to remain devoted to You – first and foremost, above all else…

Lord, let me live – UNDER. GOD.

What are your thoughts on the state of the union? How about the state of your own heart?

(Linked today with Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays, and Peggy at Soaking On SONday. Please feel free to hop on over to my other blog during the week - Sharon Sharing God)

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. "'I am not pleased with you,' says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, 'and I will not accept your offerings. But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer…pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,' says the LORD…'But you dishonor my name with your actions…'" (Malachai 1:10-12)

    wow Sharon! This is really powerful! I totally agree with you. We are in trouble. After visiting other nations and seeing the way they worship, this verse really rings true.

  2. Ohhh WOW Sharon... many blessings, AMEN to such a timely message! I can hear God repeating Himself from the days of Malachi: He cannot be pleased nor am I.

    First, this is a well written piece and the questions should be asked of us individually then as a nation!

    Second, not mine but the words of a dear author in His version of this 'Love Letter from God':

    "God says: I have chosen you to be part of My plan to restore this earth to its full beauty and My people to their full beauty. Your calling is to reveal My love. You show contempt for My name when you treat Me as though I were a vending machine stocked with sweets that temporarily satisfy. You weary Me with your idea that people enjoying the pleasant life of prosperity and peace are the real winners. Every moment spent in seizing pleasure is a moment with your back to Me... Turn toward Me, sacrifice your pleasure for Mine, and you will find Me. You will find purpose now and joy forever. I have loved you. I love you still. Beneath your darkness, disillusionment, and doubts, you long to know Me, to serve Me, to honor My name, to wait for Me as My prisoner of hope. That delights Me. You are My treasure."

    "God Love Letters to You" by Larry Crabb.

    These are the WORDS I long to hear and our nation needs to repent and call upon the Name of God first and foremost and OBEY (4 letter word).
    However, Malachi is warning us as God's people to fall on our knees, call out His Name, repent!

    "Father, forgive me for using You to arrange for my own pleasure and satisfaction rather than finding my pleasure and satisfaction in You. I have not recognized how I turn my back on You. I long to find my truest and most pleasurable and satisfying purpose in turning toward You in order to love another. Help me discover my deepest longing for You."
    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    I could not stand God to be silent for 400 years. Wake up America... and Holy Spirit send revival and let it begin with me... with your Church, with Your Chosen, may it start at the top of our government and flow through every state... Come Lord of lords, Be King and Lord over the USA and all people who bow and confess You as Lord!

    Such WISE, Loving words Sharon for our nation.
    A cry from our hearts and a Voice from beyond...

    AMEN! Much love and PRAISE to Our God,

  3. There sure is a lot to think about. Our Country needs our prayer more and more.
    God Bless,

  4. Very thought provoking post. I have often thought am I really living for God or for the things of this world? Would God be pleased with me and my actions? I agree it starts on a personal level, but each individual together makes up our nation. Great post!

  5. I've been terribly concerned about this for many years now, and it is only getting worse. It seems like more and more our government is forsaking the foundations our country was built on. There are an awfully lot of people who are dismayed at the situation though. I hope we wake up before it's too late.
    Thank you for sharing. It's something we all need to think about and especially pray about.

  6. Praying for America, Sharon. She is standing at the crossroads of destiny, and how I pray she will not miss the moment of God's visitation.

    Yes, you and I, we need to start with ourselves. Rather than resort to finger pointing, it is best to come to God an acknowledge His sovereignty over the nations, and over individuals.

    Blessings on you this weekend...


  7. Micey - I thought that was really powerful, too. Amazing how God's judgments found in the Old Testament can really be applied to our world today (unfortunately, huh?!) Our country is in trouble - but may God strengthen the remnant of His people to hold strong and to be lights on a hill to the lost.

    Peggy - I just LOVE the words from Larry Crabb. They are so very apt. Yes, may we pray in earnest for a revival and a return to the one true God - and may that new fervor for Him and His purposes begin in each of our own hearts.

    Ginger - Even since I wrote this post, so much has happened (negatively) to our country. I think we're being weaned from all the pillars we have so foolishly placed our security in - our strong armies, our strong economy, our strong political reputation - and we are quickly and insidiously settling for something so much LESS than obedience. May God have mercy.

    Charlotte - I am also concerned. And my sons, in their 20's, are even more concerned than me. They have a more direct "feel" for the mindset (and heart condition) of their generation - and they say God isn't even on the radar. We all pray for courageous and bold faith.

    Lidj - The crossroads of destiny. I was reminded of this verse from Jeremiah:

    "Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls." (Jeremiah 6:16)

    I pray that our country will not be misled - we must return to the right path. And if that doesn't happen for America, then we must make sure that as individuals we firmly stand and faithfully follow the Lord.



"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!