Dec 30: Job 40 | Mal 2 | Rev 19, 20
Reading 1 - Job 40:4
"I am unworthy -- how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth" (Job 40:4).
But it was only when the sinner knew himself to be unworthy, with no extenuating circumstances to plead, that God could begin the process of instruction that leads to repentance, which in turn brings forgiveness and renewal!
Reading 2 - Mal 2:13-15
"Another thing you do: You flood the LORD's altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, 'Why?' It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth" (Mal 2:13-15).
"Marriage is a serious business. God created marriage to last a lifetime. It is the commitment between a man and a woman to be devoted to each other for as long as they live. It is about faithfulness, sharing and unity. But today, as it was in Malachi's day, the marriage bond is not respected as it should be. When a marriage breaks down, much more is affected than just the lives of the couple: here we see that because of their unfaithfulness in marriage, God no longer paid attention to those people or accepted their offerings. In other words, if we want to be accepted by God and we want him to hear our prayers we must stay faithful to our marriage partner.
"One of the reasons He makes the two halves of a married couple as one is because He is looking for godly offspring. Can godly children come from a broken home? Yes, they can, but it is so much more difficult.
"When Malachi finished his message about marriage, he ended with a strong exhortation which is worth repeating: 'So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth...' Amen!" (Robert Prins).
Reading 3 - Rev 19:9
"Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" (Rev 19:9).
"It is common to identify the marriage and the marriage supper as one, and because of that mistakes are made in the understanding of this chapter. The following account of a marriage supper, taken from various parts of the Word, will help in the better understanding of this important part of the Apocalypse.
"The bride was dressed in white, often richly decorated (Psa 45:13,14), with a bridal girdle about her waist (Isa 49:18), and resplendent in jewels (Isa 61:10). The bridegroom set out from his home to that of the bride, accompanied by friends and musicians (Mat 25:10). Having received the bride, he conducted the whole company to his house, singing and dancing marking the route (Psa 45:15; Mat 9:15; Song 3:6-11).
"It was customary for friends to join the company on the way back (Mat 25:6). A feast was then provided to which additional friends came (Mat 22:1-10, 25:1-13). Thus the bridegroom returns with his angelic friends to meet the bride at [the place of judgment], to conduct her to Zion for the feast.
"Those who join the procession on the way back, to rejoice at the subsequent feast, will be Israel and the nations (v 17). The terms of the invitation are expressed in Rev 14:6,7. The feast is celebrated after Armageddon and before the complete destruction of those nations who reject the invitation (Eze 39:17)" (HP Mansfield, "Apocalypse Epitomised").