My pastor is doing a new series that is based on the book of Malachi. I have found it so interesting, because Malachi is a book which I have never spent much time reading. But the truths and principles that we have been introduced to so far are wonderful.
Last week, the pastor was focusing on the nature of God, and he focused on Malachi 1:1-5. Now the sermon was extremely enlightening and he shared great wisdom from all the verses, but I got hung up on the very first verse.
Malachi 1:1 An oracle. The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
That verse doesnt really seem that interesting, does it? But in actuality, it is says more than you would think.
The definition of “oracle” is this:
–a person who delivers authoritative, wise, or highly regarded and influential pronouncements.
-a divine communication or revelation.
-any person or thing serving as an agency of divine communication.
-any utterance made or received as authoritative, extremely wise, or infallible.
The word ‘oracle’ is used to preface this story in Malachi, and tells us that we need to get ready to hear the Lord saying something of great importance, through Malachi. He is preparing our hearts to listen for His divine communication, with infallible wisdom and authority. He wants us to pay acute attention, and understand that He has a sober and serious message to share.
This simple word, “oracle”, is a a description of an important and vital part of Gods nature – communication.
You see, God wants to speak to us and give us guidance and direction, and in order to do that, He gives us His Word, His Spirit, and other people to speak through. So if we are not taking His Word seriously, and not carrying the weight of the importance of Christ in our lives, then we are not valuing this ability to communicate with God.
Most of us would view the word “burden” as a difficulty or troubling situation. But the word “burden” really just means a heavy load – and if Gods Word is not a heavy load, I dont know what is!
Scripture needs to be the main thing in our life – so that we can carry it in our hearts, share it with people who need to hear it, and embrace an eagerness for it. It is something we should take VERY SERIOUSLY, as if it were a physical burden or heavy load that we were carrying on our shoulders.
For many years, I did not take His Word seriously. In fact, I mainly opened my Bible on Sunday mornings. But God finally got hold of my heart a few years ago, and I began to take His Word more seriously.
I began to see it is as a lifeline, not just a good book.
I began to realize the power that was found in those pages, and in each verse that dripped from the Lords lips, instead of thinking it was just a boring read.
I began to realize that being nourished on Sunday mornings by knowledge of scripture was simply not sufficient, and that I was severely malnourished in my spirit.
God desires that we view His word with a sense of weightiness, as my pastor worded, and that when we hear it, we will be overcome with a weightiness to live it out. We should feel a compelling obligation to carry His words in our heart, and to share the burden of the Word of the Lord with others.
The closer we have His Word in our hearts, the more we hear from Him. The more we hear from Him, the closer we feel in our relationship. The closer we feel, the more joy and peace we will be able to have as we face the obstacles present in our lives every day. The burden is actually a blessing in disguise.
Its not about going around spouting off scripture all the time or memorizing a bunch of verses – its about having that loving burden so present in our hearts, that we simply cant hide the light of Christ that is within us.
Matthew 11:29-30 says “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When we consider the message of Christ as a burden, it is crucial to remember that we understand that it is not meant to be a troublesome burden, but more a burden of desire. A desire to carry His Word in our hearts that is so strong, that we cannot shake it, we cannot put it down, we cannot put it off. A burden of desire that finally makes us sit up and take notice, that Gods Word is serious stuff.
For the past seven months, I have been doing the daily chronological Bible study. I have been thrilled, excited and amazed at how enjoyable and refreshing it is to spend time reading Gods Word. I cant even begin to write about how much I have learned. And my only regret, is that I waited so long to take His Word this seriously.
I walked away from hearing that sermon last week, with a newfound and renewed perspective on how important Gods Word should be in our life, and a refreshed eagerness to continue digging deep into Gods Word each day.
The burden of God is one that is light, but heavy in importance.
One that does not break us down, but builds us up.
And one that helps us gain strength and endurance, the more we carry it around.
The burden of Christ is one that we should never lay down, because it is an incredible and undeserved privilege that we are granted the opportunity to carry.