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The Israelites in Ezra and Nehemiah’s day completed the Temple and the wall of Jerusalem. It was time to begin “normal life” again, but they had lived most, if not all, of their lives in captivity because of their sin. They listened to the Law. They celebrated what God has done. But, when they look at themselves, they don’t want to celebrate. That’s because they had done so much wrong.
On October 31 the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors. They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the LORD their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD their God. (Nehemiah 9:1-3 NLT)
The prophet Malachi lived and served around this same time. When Malachi prophesied, he shared the kinds of sin that the Israelites were guilty of living in their generation. Here are some of the examples.
When they heard the whole of God’s law, they were convicted in their own mind and heart of their rebellion. If they tried to justify their actions in the reading of the law, they had another round of feeling convicted when Malachi prophesied. That’s because God has clearly communicated the only solution to our rebellion: turn back to God.
The LORD of Heaven's Armies says, "The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed--roots, branches, and all. "But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. (Malachi 4:1-2 NLT)
How about you? Do you have a place or places where you are convicted of your rebellion against God? Do you turn back to God?