Malachi 3-4

 

v. 1 - "Behold, I will send my messenger......and the Lord

            whom ye seek, shall SUDDENLY come, even the

            messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:

            behold, HE SHALLCOME, saith the Lord of hosts"

 

John the Baptist was the herald of Christ's advent - he

prepared the way by preaching repentance and confession

of sin which stood as an obstacle between God & His people.

 

In Christ are fulfilled all the promises made in the Old

Covenant and He is called in Heb. 9:15, the Mediator

of the New Covenant!

 

"whom ye delight in"  - Haggai 2:7

 

v. 2 - "But who may abide the day of His coming?  Who

            shall stand when He appeareth?"

 

The Lord at His coming will sever the good among men

from the evil - Isaiah 1:24-25

 

"when He appeareth"  - I remember Bro. Duncan preaching

the series on "The Pre-manifestations of the Pre-incarnation

of Christ.

 

Many shun that manifestation - they put up the shutters and

cover with chink "lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,

who is the image of God, should shine unto them" - II Cor. 4:4

v. 3 - "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver" - the

            purifying consists not only in exterminating the

            evil, but also in correcting and improving all who

            are not wholly incorrigible.

 

Two processes - one for bad cases - the other less severe.

 

(1) refiner's fire - where the slag is separated from the ore

      by burning. perhaps rough treatment like hammering

      with mallets.

(2) fuller's soap - a milder treatment but still may imply

     some beating and scrubbing.

     

v. 4 - "pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old,

            and as in former years" - tradition????

 

v. 5 - Read

 

"I will come near to you to judgment"

 

They had asked in ch. 2:17, "Where is the

God of judgment?"

 

He tells them that His judgment shall extend

beyond the religious leaders, even unto all the

people; they will then see whether the evil will

go unpunished.

 

God is at once Witness and Judge!

 

"sorcerers" - pharmakous - druggies?

 

"adulterers"

"false swearers"

 

drugs, sex, liars

 

"and fear not me" - this was the root of the evil!

 

v. 6 - "For I am the Lord, I change not"

 

The great principles of right and wrong NEVER

ALTER - modern man has tried to undermine

ABOSOLUTES - but it has not and will not work!

 

Truth is as everlasting as He who gave it and

remember, God is "abundant.....in truth" - Exodus 34:6

 

"therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" - this

reconciliation and regeneration is provided by God

Himself - II Cor. 5:17-21

 

Eden was no paradise to Adam without God.

The fiery furnace was no terror to Shadrach with God!

 

 

Our God is a "consuming fire" - it is a "fearful thing to

fall into the hands of a Living God" - He must destroy us

in our sins if His refining does not separate us from our

sins.

 

v. 7 - Read

 

"But ye said" - more of this spiritual sass?

 

"wherein shall we return" - here is the Pharisaical

spirit - they consider that they are righteous and

need no repentance.

 

v. 8 - "But ye say"

v. 13 - "Yet ye say"

 

(1) tithes  (2) offerings

 

The Sin of Robbing God

 

What is there of which we can say, "this is not God's

property, it is no part of His estate; I will do with it

what I like?

 

Solomon's testimony - "Of thine own have we given thee"

                                                 I Chron. 29:14

 

 

 

 

Giving of self - beware of an attitude as if we could

dispense with God during life and then make it up

at last like some "two minute drill" or an "all-court

press for Jesus"!

 

The Lord says "prove me now"

 

The Bible teaches us to "honor the Lord with thy substance" -

that it is "more blessed to give that to receive", that we are

to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and

all these things will be added to us"

 

v. 9 - "for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation"

 

vs. 10-11 - Read

 

"all the tithes" - the whole tithe, not just part of it  -

God is not served with partial service.

 

"prove me now....saith the Lord of hosts"

 

Does this not imply rain?  crops cannot grow without

moisture - we are in an extreme drought (August 2007)

 

The windows of heaven are closed against us because of

our sins - God will open those windows as soon as we

honor, obey and trust Him!

 

v. 13 - "Your words have been stout against me"

            Compare the "hard speeches" of Jude 15

 

Like many liars in court, they cry "not guilty".

 

They are of the same character as those of ch. 21:17

and imply that the course of this world is not

directed by a moral Governor?

 

vs. 14-15 - Read - the wicked are more happy than we are?

 

Psalm 73 - esp. vs. 3, 18-20 but generally all of chapter.

 

Instead of proving God, they tempt Him?

 

In this atmosphere of ungodliness it makes it hard to

maintain a brightly burning piety but God has His

witnesses!

 

Noah, Nehemiah and others lived in a corrupt age.

 

vs. 16-17 - Read

                  "Then" - While the impious are making

                        the above infidel remarks, the pious "spake

                        often to one another"

 

The scripture teaches of the end of the Lord - He is

"very pitiful an of tender mercy"  - James 5:11

 

To "judge nothing before the time"  - I Cor. 4:5 -(Read)

           

"A book of remembrance was written before Him"

"for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon

His name"

 

Rev. 20:11-15

 

"they shall be mine.....jewels...and I will spare them"

 

Each individual may be regarded as a jewel in the

Divine treasury -

 

A special treasure!  When we die we will be redeemed

from all iniquity and purified for an eternity unto

good works - Titus 2:14

 

Zech. 11:11    ch. 2:17a            Lev. 10:10    Ezek. 22:26

 

 

v. 18 - Daniel 7:22 - in the day of the Lord they shall

            have proof of God's moral government.

 

THE UNIVERSE KNOWS ONLY ONE INCARNATE

GOD!

 

                                                ch. 4

 

v. 1 - "Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven"

 

v. 2 - "the Sun of Righteousness......with healing in His wings"

            flooding them with joy and light, healing all wounds,

            removing all miseries.

 

The great and terrible day of the Lord will have both a

bright and a dark side - great for those who will admire Him,

"When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be

admired in all them that believe"  - I Thess. 1:10  - a glorious

future awaits the sons of God - I John 3:1-2 - but to "the proud

and all them that do wickedly" it shall burn like an oven.

"the Sun of Righteousness"  - what the sun is to the material

world, Christ is to the moral!  

 

"in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts'

 

v. 5 - "Behold, I will send you Elijah" never died, was translated

            to heaven - compare Rev. 11:3,6

 

"before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord"

 

v. 6 - "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse"

 

This prophecy concerns the very last days before the final

judgment - Elijah shall come and preach repentance,

as John the Baptist did.  Unless the Jews listen to him and

turn to Christ, they shall be destroyed sharing in that

eternal anathema which shall fall on the ungodly at the

Day of Judgment!

 

Thus ends the Old Testament - Deut. 29:29

 

 

 

The Jews, who would be wiser than the prophet, insert the

fifth verse again because Malachi ends so awfully but the

Creator of men's hearts knew best how to reach the hearts

He had created - so much for fear being no deterrent?!?!!

 

We would do well that we take heed to the admonition in II Peter 1:19