We had a fascinating start to Malachi in Sunday School! After starting Psalm 103 in worship last week, serendipity had us considering again how prone we are to forget God's benefits. The people of Israel hadn't returned from exile all that long before their hearts began to harden again, and God sent Malachi, whose name means "Messenger", to remind them that He loves them. They have the audacity to question that love, but God patiently reminds them of His faithfulness.
Our worship began with Prudentius' ancient praise poem, "Of the Father's Love Begotten," set to a moving 12th century chant. We joined centuries of saints in offering our "high thanksgiving and unwearied praises" as we deliberately enumerated God's mercies.
Our sermon considered how David's words in Psalm 103 could pertain to his own life. God's forgiveness was a life-changing reality for him, especially after an event like his adulterous episode with Bathsheba.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Ps. 103, NKJV)
David knew from experience God's healing, redeeming, crowning, satisfying, and renewing capabilities. God's love is the victor in the end, not our sin.
Thanks be to God. Deo gratias.