Malachi 3:6 (HCSB)
6 “Because I, Yahweh, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.
The beginning of this pericope leads with a challenge of God and His justice. While man revels in evil, they simultaneously accuse God of being absent and failing to exert justice. The whole idea is ironic and absurd. But note that things have not changed too much… anytime something tragic or evil occurs there are those who oppose God that question His motives, power, justice, and very existence. What is odd about the whole thing is that bad and evil things happen not because of God, but because of our sin, and either the consequences of that sin, or the perfect justice of God.
The passage then continues on with what appears to be a prophecy concerning John the Baptist (“My messenger”) and Jesus. And this is a prophecy telling of exactly what the Israelites are asking for: justice. His coming, seemingly Christ’s second-coming, will refine and cleanse. And the result? God’s people will present offerings to God in righteousness. Man will be made righteous, not by himself, but by Jesus. The relationship between God and man will be restored, as shown in Malachi 3:4.
And it could be easy to overlook the last verse of the pericope, but there is an amazing truth packed in there, and a great hope for us. God is unchanging, and that is the reason Israel had not been totally and completely obliterated by His justice, His judgement. Whenever we might think God is out to get us, that He is not looking out for our best interests, we can look to this verse. What a great hope we have in Him, to know He is not changing, that He loves us now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, just as much as He did yesterday, the day before, and before. A perfect love that has always been, and will always be.
God’s judgement should be terrifying, but only for those who stand against God. For the believer it is a restoration of our relationship with Him, perfected and refined by God.
Lord, thank You for being eternally perfect and never changing! I am sorry for my sin, for questioning You at times. Help me to hold on to Malachi 3:6 and be your child. Amen.