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The Apple of God's Eye

Malachi 3:13-18 NIV

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"'You have said harsh things against me,' says the Lord. Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?' [14] You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? [15] But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.' [16] Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. [17] 'They will be mine,' says the Lord Almighty, 'in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. [18] And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.'"

Today we conclude our study of Malachi's prophesy. I'm not willing to say that I've enjoyed this study, but I can say, God has spoken to me and worked on the condition of my soul as we've explored the truths of His word together. I hope you can say the same thing. Malachi concludes his book with God lamenting over the things that His people are saying about Him. "'You have said harsh things against me,' says the Lord." 

Personally, I have pretty thick skin, I've learned not to take criticism personally or get too upset about people's comments. The only time I really get hurt is when someone I love speaks harshly to me. As I read the closing words of this book, I can't help but reflect upon the opening words of the book of Malachi when God said, Malachi 1:2 "'I have loved you,' says the Lord." Why does God care about what His people say about Him? Because He loves us.

The Psalmist wrote, "Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings," (Psalm 17:8 KJV) David, in this beautiful prayer, spoke as child would to his father. He prayed as one who knew that God had a soft spot in His Heart for him. 

There was a lot of love in my family. I've never doubted whether my parents loved each other or me and my siblings. Whenever I read David's prayer, I automatically think of a special love my Dad had for my little sister Lori. She was his only daughter and did he ever love his little girl. He'd buy her special gifts and treat her with a gentler touch than he did his other children. If I close my eyes, I can still picture Lori sitting on Daddy's lap. I usually see her as a small girl, missing her front teeth, and her hair in ringlets.

But soon that quaint picture is replaced with Mom & Dad sitting beside her hospital bed, watching helplessly as Lupus stole her life from her. I still hurt for Mom and Dad. When Lori died, Mom lost her best friend and her daughter. And it ripped my Father's heart right out of his chest. I would have done anything to take their pain away, but I couldn't. The apple of Dad's eye was gone. Years have passed since Lori died, and every now and then, in a private moment, I still cry. Not so much because I lost my sister. I've come to grips with that. I weep because I can't stand the thought of Mom losing her daughter and Daddy losing his little girl.

It is hard for me to imagine anyone loving anybody more that Daddy loved Lori. But I know that God does. God loves His people. We are the apple of His eye. The only proof I need to give you is Calvary. 

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