“I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’”
Malachi 1:2a (NIV)
We’ve made it folks. The end of the Old Testament. No more prophets and history. Gone are the days of floods and fire raining onto gay cities. Exiles are done; the poets are dead. No more plagues and global annihilation (sans Revelation, but whatever). Kick off the sandals, readers; we’re headed for Christianity.
And it wouldn’t be the Old Testament without a final round of warnings from our last Minor Prophet Malachi. Just so that all the returned exiles are on the same page, Malachi writes a list of all the ways they have broken their covenant with God, including:
…offering inappropriate sacrifices
…men divorcing their young wives
…allowing evil to thrive
…leading others away from God
Luckily for the remaining remnant, this does not exactly apply to them, since they were faithful enough to return to the Promised Land (and by proxy, return to God).
To round things out, Malachi pitches up one more warning for all the people of Earth:
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (4:5-6)
Yes, the final word of the Old Testament is “destruction.” How fitting.
My commentary is sparse on this – call it biblical fatigue. For those of you who may have noticed (read: no one noticed this, but), I hit the halfway point in my little project a few days ago, and today, I am finishing the first “half” of the Bible. However, some of your diehard fans (read: no one) may know offhand that the Old Testament is nearly four times as long as the New. So I have been reading 10ish chapters a day for the past six months while I plan on reading on only two with the latter part.
Why? Because I wanted to spend more time studying the New Testament.
Why? Because it is more interesting to me.
Why? Because I grew up Christian.
Why don’t Christians actively engage in the Old Testament? Why is it so difficult to focus and study these books?
Well… I –
I will leave that discussion for tomorrow. And then onward we will ride to Jesus.