“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6
I find it unsettling how quickly some things can change.
On Saturday several family members visited Baltimore to watch the Orioles play the Red Sox. The mood of the city changed drastically during their visit. Protests devolved into riots, and they exited the stadium surrounded by swirling helicopters and armed police.
Fires blazing on our television screens reveal that things have not improved.
It’s amazing how quickly a seed of hatred can bear fruit and multiply. A city burns because an unseen enemy has convinced ordinary people that self-destruction is in their best interest. Tainted logic insists that destroying businesses and housing that sustain their own community is wise.
Jeremiah 17:9 proves itself true yet again.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
I can’t help thinking of Jesus’ own words when He found Himself nailed to a cross at the hands of a similar mob.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
People need deliverance from the one who dictates and alters the desires of the heart, manipulating them like shifting shadows.
God wants you to know something, dear one. The world may change, and so can your circumstances. But He doesn’t change. His character remains constant. That’s what makes Him so trustworthy.
And in Malachi 3:6, God declares His unchanging quality in the context of these words.
“Therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Don’t miss it, dear one. God does not want to destroy. He wants to save.
That may be difficult for you to believe, especially in light of the devastation overtaking our televisions and newsfeeds. Or maybe evil has left its mark a little closer to home.
“We feel inclined to shake our fists at God and accuse Him of not doing His job. The truth, however, is harder to swallow. You see, beloved, it’s you and me who aren’t doing ours.”
Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:18 call out to us, begging our belief.
“ . . . I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
You and I comprise the church, dear one. And the church is supposed to rise victorious over the powers of hell.
We find it easy to hurl blame at the ones we see doing the damage. But God’s Word announces that they are powerless to stop themselves. They can’t bring healing, as long as they remain ensnared by the enemy’s schemes (2 Timothy 2:26, 2 Corinthians 4:4).
But if God Himself is to be believed, dear one, you and I can.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Do you bear the name of Jesus, beloved? Then you hold the power to heal our land.
If you and I will humble ourselves before God with a repentant heart, He promises to hear our prayers. When He hears, He will forgive. And with forgiveness, He will heal.
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:6-7
Devastation comes to a nation when the people of God within it turn away from Him. Yet in His unchanging love, God extends mercy, and He offers this unbreakable promise.
“Return to me, and I will return to you.”
God extends that same invitation to us today, dear one. He looks upon the darkness creeping over the earth with a heavy heart, and He longs to intervene. He knocks at the door of our hearts, inviting us to open to Him. If we keep going our own way, the door will remain shut. But if we will draw near to Him in humble repentance, we open the door to loose the glory of God in our land.
Here’s the truth of it, beloved. God gives us the right to choose.
And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30
Will you stand at the wall, dear one, and intercede for God’s deliverance? Our nation’s healing hangs in the balance. God won’t force Himself upon us, beloved. But when we choose to stand with Him, He will reveal that He stands with us.