Today is the last day in the Old Testament and Malachi reads almost as a summary book of the major themes.
The first thing God says in the book of Malachi is: "I have loved you."
Through creation, flood, wilderness, judges, kings and prophets, exile and rebuilding, God has loved God's people. Even when the people do not recognize God's love, God has been faithful.
After the first couple verses, it seems that God changes the subject by declaring, "I hate divorce." One might think, "God, that came out of the blue!," but isn't interesting to put the attribute of God's faithful love along side the paradigm of divorce? I don't think this is a mistake.
No matter the faithlessness of the human race, God does not file for divorce. Instead, God encourages us with these words in Malachi, "So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith."
It is almost as if it is a foreshadowing of more challenges and more action and more love and more mystery to come.
The Old Testament ends so perfectly, giving us a clue about the sequel coming soon.
"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
Just as the heavenly Father has turned his heart to the heart of his children and is unwilling to allow himself to divorce from them, God promises a prophet who will come before the great judge who will encourage fathers to reconsider their priorities. Parents will be encouraged to remember their children before they even consider a split.
God hates when relationships crumble and never reconcile.
Why else, do you think would God risk giving up his Son to save the world?
And the saga continues...