Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Nasaan ang Paggalang na Nararapat Para sa Akin?"

Malakias 1:6-14
An Exhortation Delivered at GLCC-Dagupan
(March 25, 2007)


Daloy ng buong aklat ng Malakias:
Nang pinayagan ng mga mananakop ang mga Judio na makabalik sa kanilang lupain at muling itayo ang templo, nagkaroon ng panibagong pag-asa; pag-asang tuloy-tuloy na ang pagpapala ng Panginoon sa kanyang bayan- Kasaganaan, Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran ng bayang Israel.

Subalit hindi pa man lumilipas ang sandaang taon, muling nakaramdam ng pagkabigo ang bayan. Hindi naganap ang kanilang inaasahan. Sa kabanata 3:14, ganito ang kanilang reklamo: “Walang kabuluhan/Walang Saysay ang maglingkod sa Diyos. Ano ang ating pakinabang/ano ang ating napala sa pagsunod sa kanyang mga utos? Ano ang ating napala sa ating pagluluksa sa ating mga kasalanan?”

Sa ganitong panahon isinugo ng Panginoon ang Propetang Malakias.

Ang unang tiniyak ng Panginoon ay ang kanyang Pag-ibig. Sa Kabanata 1:2, “Inibig ko kayo”, diin ng Panginoon at bilang patunay, inihambing Niya ang kalagayan ng Israel sa kalunos-lunos na kalagayan ng kapatid na bansang Edom. Pagkatapos, sa buong aklat ni Malakias ay inilahad ng Panginoon ang tunay na sanhi ng pagkaudlot ng mga pagpapala:
1. Paglapastangan ng Israel sa kanilang paghahandog
2. Pakikipaghiwalay sa kanilang asawa
3. Pag-aasawa ng mga sumasamba sa mga diyus-diyusan
4. Pananamantala sa mga nangangailangan
5. At pagnanakaw sa pamamagitan ng hindi pagbibigay ng nararapat na ikapu at mga kaloob.

Ang lahat ng mga nabanggit ay paglabag sa Kautusang ibinigay ng Diyos kay Moises. Ang pagkukulang sa hindi sa Diyos. Ang nararapat na pagbuntunan ng sisi ay ang Israel. Sa sandaling panahon matapos muling maitayo ang templo, ang bayan ay bumalik sa buhay na marumi- buhay na bulok- buhay na mabaho.

Basahin:Malakias 1:6-14

Ang unang hinarap ng Panginoon ay ang mga saserdote/pari. Sa kautusang ibinigay kay Moises, ang mga pari ang inatasang mangasiwa sa mga handog na ihahain sa altar. Hindi dapat tanggapin ang may sakit, ang bulag, may pilay, may bali, putol o durog ang ari, may pangangati, may galis; Ang mga baka, tupa o kambing na iaalay ay dapat walang kapansanan o anumang kapintasan.


Subalit ang mga utos na ito ay binale-wala ng Israel at ito’y kinunsinti ng mga pari/saserdote.

Hindi naman sa ang Diyos ay nangangailangan. Ang bawat malusog na baka, kambing at tupa, hindi lamang sa Israel kundi sa buong mundo ay pag-aari ni YHWH. Ang Panginoon ay hindi isang pulubi na namamalimos ng handog; sapagkat ang lahat ng yaman sa ibabaw at ilalim ng lupa, sa gubat, sa karagatan, sa himpapawid at maging sa langit at pag-aari ng Panginoon.

Hindi naman talaga handog ang hanap Niya, subalit ang mga inihahain nilang mga handog ay nagpapakita ng kalagayan ng kanilang mga puso. Kaya naman dito sa ika-6 na talata ay kanyang sinabi: “ O mga Pari na humahamak sa aking Pangalan”. Pangit ang kanilang mga handog sapagkat pangit rin ang kanilang puso- Mga pusong humahamak sa pangalan ng Diyos.
“Iginagalang ng anak ang kanyang ama”
“Iginagalang ng alipin ang kanyang amo”


Subalit nasaan ang paggalang na para sa Diyos. Ang kanilang mga handog ay hindi tanda ng pagsamba. Bagkus ito ay tanda ng pagyurak sa ngalan ng Diyos.

Ang kanilang mga pangit na handog ay ni hindi nga tatangapin ng gobernador. Ito ay insulto para sa gobernador. Ngunit sino ba ang gobernador kung ihahambing sa kaluwalhatian ng Diyos? Sino ba ang mga mortal na hari sa ibabaw ng lupa kung ihahambing sa kaluwalhatian ng walang hanggang Diyos na nakaluklok sa langit at ang lupa ay tuntungan lamang ng kanyang mga paa. Sa talata 14 ay kanyang inihayag: “Ako ay isang Dakilang Hari... Ang aking Pangalan ay kinatatakutan ng mga bansa."

Mga kapatid, nasa puso pa ba natin iyon, na ang ating Diyos ay isang Dakilang Hari, at nararapat lamang sa kanya ang ating pinakamainam na alay- at iyan ay ang ating buhay? Nawa’y ating sikapin na ang ating buhay ay maihain natin sa kanya nang walang bahid ng anumang kapintasan- isang haing buhay na katanggap-tanggap para sa isang Dakilang Hari..

Mga kapatid, ito ang dapat nating katakutan.
Sa ika-10 talata ay makikita natin na mas nanaisin pa ng Panginoon na makitang nakasara ang mga pintuan ng templo kaysa sa pagpapatuloy ng pag-aalay ng mga handog na hindi naman Niya ikinatutuwa. Kung hindi na natin kinikilala ang Kadakilaan ng ating Hari, kung wala na tayong paggalang sa kanya, mas nanaisin ng Panginoon na maisara ang mga pintuan ng gusaling ito. Kung wala na tayong takot sa Diyos, wala ng kabuluhan ang ating pag-awit, at mas gugustuhin ng Panginoon na manahimik ang ikatlong palapag ng Armar Building.
Ito po ating isa-isip, ngayon at sa susunod nating mga pagtitipon.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

A Reason to Sing for the Barren Woman



Please read Isaiah 54:1-10 before reading this post.

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The people of God were in a state of distress. The Power of Babylon overwhelmed them. They were taken as captives; they were exiles- away from their homeland. The whole nation was under humiliation.

The Jerusalem they used to know was full of beauty and prosperity. But the last time they saw it, it was burning with merciless fire. The magnificent structures: houses, the king’s palace and even the temple of YHWH were being consumed by flames right before their eyes. But they were powerless- unable to do anything. They looked around, but there were no Moseses; no Joshuas; no Gideons; no Davids; to usher them into victory. They were likened to a shameful woman- Barren and separated from her husband. Every soul is downcast.

In Psalm 137, we find the Babylonians demanding the captives to sing songs of joy.
They asked: “SING FOR US ONE OF THE SONGS OF ZION”

But the musicians hang their instruments.
They replied:“HOW CAN WE SING THE SONGS OF THE LORD WHILE IN A FOREIGN LAND?”


So by the rivers of Babylon, God’s people sat and wept as they remembered Zion.

But here in Isa. 54, it is not the Babylonians who are asking them to sing. Isaiah is a prophet of God. This is God’s Word to them.
SING, O BARREN WOMAN! / BURST INTO SONG! / SHOUT FOR JOY!

For you are not really a widow. Your Creator- God Almighty is still your husband. He has not divorced you. You will not remain childless forever. In place of sorrow, He brings joy. In place of disgrace, He brings honor. For a while, because of your sins, God has hidden his face from you. But this brief moment is nothing compared to the coming glorious redemption. Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!

Yet this redemption is not without cost. Notice the 15 verses before Isa. 54. The preceding section is the memorable Song of the Suffering Servant.

Our sins demand punishment, but the punishment was not upon us, it was upon someone else.

In order to redeem God’s people, the appearance of God’s Son must be disfigured; his form must be marred beyond human likeness.

He who is perfect in beauty appeared on earth with no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

To the barren woman, He wants to bring joy; so he became a man of sorrows.

He was despised, oppressed, afflicted, wounded and rejected by men. He was pierced and crushed for the transgressions and iniquities of the barren woman.

ISA 53:10- “Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer”

EPH. 5:25- Christ loves us that he gave himself up for us


So People of God, do you feel like you are in an agonizing and disgraceful condition? Is your soul downcast? Do you feel like abandoned by God? Never forget that:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him
(Psalm 103:8-13)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD
(Psalm 40:3)

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reading Should Ignite Writing


Resolution #2 should lead to Resolution #3. Reading should ignite writing, that's according to Ravi Zacharias:

"... learning how to articulate and analyze what you read is one of most vital things you can do. The concern of reading great writers only is that you might conclude that they alone know how to say it well. Don't fall into the trap of parroting someone else's thoughts. The great writers should serve as igniters and inspirers that enable us to express the way God has gifted us, and not make us feel inadequate."
(Ravi Zacharias, Just Thinking, p.8, Winter 2003)

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Than Just Counting Volumes


This article from Karl Rove served as a motivation for New Year's Resolution #2. President Bush, one of the busiest men in the planet, was able to read 95 books in 2006, 51 in 2007, and 40 in 2008. So I should not blame my busy schedule for my lack of reading.

Yet it is more than just counting volumes. I remember this quote from Mortimer Adler:

"There are two ways in which one can own a book.The first is the property right you establish by paying for it, just as you pay for clothes and furniture. But this act of purchase is only the prelude to possession. Full ownership comes only when you have made it a part of yourself... You buy a beefsteak and transfer it from the butcher's icebox to your own. But you do not own the beefsteak in the most important sense until you consume it and get it into your bloodstream. I am arguing that books, too, must be absorbed in your bloodstream to do you any good." (Mortimer Adler, How to Mark a Book, Saturday Review, 6 July 1940)

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Joshua Harris on Keeping a Journal

In relation to my first resolution for 2009, here's what Joshua Harris says about journaling:


"I put everything in my journal. Spiritual reflections. Prayer requests. Random lists of things I'm thinking about. I tape in letters and notes. I doodle. I also usually flip to a random page in the back and list a bunch of questions I have about the future (both personal and about world events). Then, months later, when I get to that page I answer the questions based on what has happened since.

But the biggest benefit of journaling is being able to track the work of God in your life. It's amazing how much we forget about what he's teaching us, how he's sustaining us and how he's changing us if we don't record it somehow. Do you journal? Do you have any interesting journaling habits?"


(Joshua Harris is best known for writing I Kissed Dating Goodbye. His other books include Boy Meets Girl, Not Even a Hint, and Stop Dating the Church. He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Covenant Life Church. He also sits as member of two important councils: The Council of Bliblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) and The Gospel Coalition.)

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