Malachi 1:1

The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

Golf places a burden on the amateur weekend golfer with a desire to not fail more so than the want to succeed. Once success is attained, the burden and pressure grows because golf is an individual sport. Our successful or failure is of our own doing. Young golfers have dreams of high school success, a college scholarship, then possibly even making a living doing it one day. Once professional status is attained, many would think the burden is released and the pressure subsides. However, nothing could be further from reality. Professional golfers on Tour not only have responsibilities to play well to finance a family, but also the pressures of satisfying sponsors while doing so on national television. Having a burden or pressure makes one grow stronger and never satisfied. There is always a yearning to do more.

Malachi felt a great burden because of the word from the Lord that he was responsible to deliver to Israel. All preachers, teachers and believers should have a certain burden to the congregation, class, or the lost around him or her. The Word of the Lord is mighty and should be held in high regard when offered. The consequences of not offering such Word is even higher. Lives and eternal destinies are at stake. Spurgeon once preached, “he that does not find his ministry a burden now, will find it a burden hereafter.”

The pastor and the teacher not only must pay careful attention to the message given, but also in the way it is given. The burden of the Word of God creates and fosters a zeal in its delivery. Spurgeon felt we “cannot preach the conviction of sin unless we have suffered it. You cannot preach repentance of sin unless you have practiced it and you cannot preach faith unless you have practiced it.”

The burden of the delivery of the Word of God can only be lightened by the giver of such Word. By continually abiding within His spirit, we will be faithful and effective in discharging this burden. The only way we make this burden heavier is to do so in silence and in neglect of our duty. Let us take the Word of God seriously and in all due reverence. Let us speak to others in an excitement that only a sinner saved by grace is capable. This burden is not a game.

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