Thursday, April 21, 2011

Broken families and broken land - blessed families and blessed land

“See, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers or else I will come and strike the land with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6)

How strange that the last word in the Old Testament is ‘curse’. This is not the curse of an enemy or a witch doctor. It is the curse of God! God says he will curse a land, a people, a society, a nation. That is terrifying. What is the reason for this awful curse of God? It is broken families. It is a society where fathers and children do not love each other. We hear the voice of God in judgment saying, “When I am not honoured, families are broken and society is smashed”. Could our community or country be experiencing the curse of God today? If so, what can we do?

Four hundred years after Malachi wrote about turning the hearts of parents and children to one another, the Lord sent the angel Gabriel to a priest called Zechariah to tell him that he would have a son, John the Baptist, who would announce the coming of the Messiah. Gabriel deliberately repeated Malachi’s prophecy. “He will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke1: 17)

Malachi prophesied the curse of God on the land. That is the negative. Luke now speaks of “a people prepared for the Lord.” That is the positive. Calling people back to God and healing families go together. So we will challenge people to turn to God in sincerity and wholeness of heart to make our society ready for the Lord’s coming. At the same time we are called in the power of God’s Spirit to teach and model the beauty of godly relationships in marriage and family. Strong family life is a blessing God gives to his obedient people. It brings love, joy, peace and contentment to individuals and wholeness to society. As we heal broken family relationships, we prepare our land for God’s blessing. Family flourishes when we honour God.

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