Continuing our series on the theme “God’s omniscience” based on the Book of Malachi, today let’s focus on two of the three problem areas (offering, divorcing and tithing) in the Jewish society of his times. Firstly…
As the clergy were more accountable to God than the laity (James 3:1), the omniscient God takes them to task first before dealing with the lay lot. The priests had showed no qualms in accepting any kind of sacrificial burnt offerings. What did it matter if the animals used in the regular sacrifices were lame, sick and handicapped?
Try offering them to your Governor. God asks the priests pointedly if the governor would feel honored by such cheap gifts (I still remember the top management of my erstwhile organization going once to meet a Chief Minister of AP with the best available devotional Cds) (Malachi 1:8). To use Chess parlance here, this question would have checkmated them.
This leads us to a subject within a subject. As much as our omniscient God is a great judge, he is a very wise advocate too. His arguments built on precise logic, ten times out of ten, brook no reply. Jonah and Simon the Pharisee, given to much arguing with the Almighty, having subsequently “tasted” God’s wise counter argument (Jonah 4/Luke 7:36-50), would vouch for this!
By the way, Pal, are you sometimes putting soiled, mutilated currency notes in the offering plate?
Coming back to our main subject (the Book of Malachi), after severely castigating the priests, then God turns his attention to yet another problem, which had crept in unnoticed, so to speak, in the Jewish society. That of marital infidelity amongst the laity (Mal 2:14-16)! On one hand, we see some of them obeying God by divorcing the heathen women, prone to lead them astray (Ezra 9,10), on the other we see some disobeying Him by severing marital ties with their faithful Jewish wives. If the former gave a picture of “BOOM” in the obedience front, the latter presented one of “DOOM”. It is pertinent to note that devout Nehemiah who spearheaded the reformation movement up until this point (rebuilt the wall, reinstated the Sabbath custom) was still the Governor during Malachi’s time, and Ezra, yet another great reformer too was “alive and kicking”. While, these great leaders had overseen divorcing of the heathen women, what about the problem of divorcing of the Jewish women?
That God had to intervene in this issue bears witness to the fact that even great reformers, however noble their motives, however determined their actions, can only do so much in the matter of separating the “wheat from the chaff”! Worse, this problem seems to have even escaped their attention. Was there someone like William Assange of Wikileaks fame or notoriety (depends on your point of view) who “leaked” (brought) this issue to the good Lord!!!
Needless to say, our Omniscient God doesn’t depend on a Assange or anyone of his ilk, to see the grey areas’ in His peoples’ lives. Everything appears to Him in “Black and white”. While even great reformers can remain oblivious to devious sins subtly creeping into the society, they (sins) cannot but be obvious to an omniscient God who has His ways’ of dealing with them.
Prayer: Father, once again we praise Thee for Thy omniscience. While the ordained Shepherds like our pastors may not be able to detect some of our secret sins, we confess that Thou the Chief Shepherd art aware of them. We confess our secret sins and glorify Thee once again for Thy omniscience. In Jesus Name. Amen
(To access the entire “Omniscient God” mini-series, please click here.)