Sin reached its high-water mark while the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah. But the moment came when God called Noah into the ark, shut him in, and turned His attention to the business of dealing with the wickedness that had overspread the earth. The “fountains of the great deep” were broken up, and “the windows of heaven were opened” (Gen 7:11, KJV). The latter expression has given rise to the concept of a deluge from a water vapor which surrounded planet earth, protecting it and promoting the longevity which marked the pre-diluviun earth. That is certainly plausible, but it is also meant to suggest to us the copious outpouring of the judgment of God upon humanity in its sin.
The expression only occurs two additional times in the Old Testament. We hear it from the lips of the mocking man “upon whose hand the king leaned” in 2 Kings 7. He denied that heaven had any interest or ability to intervene. It was a costly error for him.
More germane to our topic is the third and final mention of the “windows of heaven.” Once again, people are marked by defiance of God. In fact, seven sinful attitudes are listed about them to show that they merited the judgment of God once again. They defiled God’s table, despised His name, doubted His love, defrauded Him of what He deserved, denied His care, dishonored Him in their actions toward their wives, and demeaned the value of serving Him. Their cup was full; their iniquity was blatant, written in bold letters for all to see.
Once again the word is given from the throne room of God: “I will … open the windows of heaven.” And yet, what follows is staggering to consider: “And pour you out a blessing!” (Mal 3:10, KJV). Here is a people deserving of divine judgment. Here is a nation marked by failure and departure. Mercy and grace had been known in the revival and return to the land, but they had returned to their default position of indifference and coldness. Yet, God longed to bless. It was not a deluge of judgment, but one of blessing that He longed to rain upon His people.
We can take encouragement from the words spoken through Malachi, because he prefaces His remarks by reminding us of a God Who does not change: “I change not” (3:6, KJV). What a remarkable statement at the close of the Old Testament. God does not change. He hates sin as much in Malachi as He did in Genesis 6. Yet, He longs to bless His people and bring them into the good of all He can pour upon them.
We, like Israel, must confess failure. We have known His mercy and grace in abundance. Yet we come so short in our worship, in our devotion, in our obedience, and in our service. The conditions in Malachi’s day are mirrored in the condition at Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22), and in many of our hearts.
God has not changed! He still waits behind the “windows of heaven,” ready to pour out blessing. His call is still the same: “Bring ye all the tithes … prove Me … “(3:10, KJV). May we be stirred to give God what He deserves of our love, worship, and obedience.