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Wednesday, 1 July 2020 Malachi 3:1-18

"They will be mine," says the LORD of Armies. "On that day I will make them my special possession…” -Malachi 3:17(GW)

All of us have our own possessions in life and the words “special possession” convey the imagery of something extremely valuable or cherished by the owner. Here God promises to make us His special possession. Knowing that the opportunity to become the special possession of God is within the reach of anyone, should itself be encouraging enough to lead a Christian life of obedience and love to God.

In the Bible we see that, Israel has always been a special possession of God since God chose them to be His own people. From the first instance where we see this declaration by God in the book of Exodus 19:5, it was conditional, rightly so by a God whose throne’s foundation are Righteousness and Justice (Psalm 89:14: “Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne”). At all other places where this is repeated, for e.g: Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2 or 26:18 we find that the preceding or following verses set the condition in unequivocal terms that, to be God’s special possession they had to obey to His voice and keep His covenant— the Law given to them by Moses.

In the history of Israel we see that they often wandered from these laws, in spite of God’s love, provisions and mighty acts to protect them. Many a time, the Bible uses the word “stiff-necked” to describe their behavior with such a loving and forgiving God. This selfless and eternal love for “His own special possession” is revealed in the following verse - Jer. 13:17: “But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride..” In this verse, God the Creator’s love is engraved like that of a heartbroken father weeping for the unwise ways of his special possession – his son!

This seeming contradiction between God’s uncompromising righteousness and justice on one side and His love on the other side for His special possession, made God send His beloved Son to this fallen world as Jesus of Nazareth. He was one among us, who was an example of perfect obedience to God, who kept all the Law of Moses and qualified to be the Lamb without blemish. Because of the sacrifice of this Lamb, now God can possess the otherwise perishing people like you and me, who come in to His fold by accepting Him as our Lord and Saviour.

In this New Testament period we believers know Him as the One who paid for us with His own Blood and hence believing in Him is easy. To obey Him we have the immense grace from Him, which keep us from being stiff-necked in this life. And after this life, it is more than being a “special possession” since we are going to be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), just because of His love towards us. This privilege is given to all, irrespective of race, tongue, caste or creed. Dear friend, there is no meaning in life other than accepting the lordship of such a God who is the only one God of all. And as for His chosen nation, the Bible tells that during the end times they will recognize their Master and "those who pierced Him will look to Him and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will cry bitterly for him as one cries for a firstborn son" (Zechariah 12:10) and then they too will be saved.

A Promise: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.’” (Revelation 21:3)

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