True Christianity is evidenced by a lifestyle of faithfulness, obedience, and reverence to God.
The name Malachi means “my messenger”; it may be an abbreviation of Malachiah , which means “the messenger of the Lord.” Though we are told nothing about the prophet else where in the Old Testament, his personality is quite visible in this book. He was a devout Jew in post-exilic Judah, a contemporary of Nehemiah, and most likely a priestly profit. His staunch convictions in favor of faithfulness to the covenant and against hypocritical and meaningless worship, idolatry, divorce, and robbing God of tithes and offerings all speak of a man of strict integrity and intense devotion to God.
The sole purpose of Malachi‘s prophetic message was to bring God‘s people into the realization that they had become mechanical and insensitive in their worship and observances, and indifferent to the laws requirements and guilty of all kinds of sins against the covenant.
CALLED TO FAITHFULNESS A.Unfaithfulness to God Rebuked
Mal 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
……God always deals with the leadership first. His ministers will always be required to live according to scripture.
Mal 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
…….The priests has profaned their duties by allowing anything people to bring animals for sacrifice that were unworthy to be offered to God. When we lose respect for the relationship standards and requirements of God, we deny that He is worthy of His Glory. When we offer Him second best, we deny that He is worthy of our very best! Question: Are we giving the Lord our very best?!
…….How do we give glory unto God? By worshipping him and giving him ALL credit and honor! Though we are fortunate and loved enough to experience the life changing effects from it, God does not share His glory with any man!
Mal 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
Mal 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
Mal 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
Mal 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.
…….Because the priests of that time had become contempt and careless with their duties, they had “caused many to stumble at the law” (v. 8). As a consequence of this, the people no longer respected the priests as God’s representative, but regarded them with the contempt they had earned, and therefore deserved, by their unholy attitude and behavior in relation to God (v. 9). May we never neglect our priestly duties! Every child of God has the priestly duty and grace given ability of maintaining our relationship with Him!
B. Examples of Unfaithfulness
Mal 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Mal 2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
…….It may not happen all at one time but eventually the sins of the heart will be revealed. A broken covenant (promise) with God never happens overnight or in a instance. Relationship deteriorates slowly.
Mal 2:12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
…….With no regard of their personal sins, they were still praying in the altar either tears and groaning trying to convince the Lord otherwise. God will not be mocked or fooled! He’s the only one that can truly see the heart!
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
…….Not only were they marrying the forbidden who worshipped false Gods, but they were also divorcing the wife that the Lord had give them in their youth.
Mal 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
Mal 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
…….God has always rebuked the hypocrite. Just as these priests had done, when sin is overlooked for any period of time, people become calloused to spiritual sensitivity.
CALLED TO OBEDIENCE
A. Breaking Covenant With God
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
…….Grace! Through all the corruption and sin, God still desires the attention and devotion of His children!
Mal 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
…….The Lord once again invites His people to return unto Him! At His invitation, the response is how and where?! This is the danger of falling from God and submitting to blinding sin. Satan’s goal is to blind people from the way back to the Lord. When you feel blind, use your other senses! When you can’t see, listen!
Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
…….When we rob God we rob ourselves! Everyone who pays tithe understands the blessings that come from a financially devoted and dependent relationship with the Lord! I will not depart!!!
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
…….It is up to you personally to experience this!!!
Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
…….Take the time to remember of how God provided for you because you remained faithful in the hard time!
B. The Righteous Obey God
Mal 3:13 Your words have been stout (strong, hard to bare) against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
Mal 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?
…….Because the Lord had not answered their prayers immediately, and because He didn’t take notice of them when they observed Him they implied that God was unfair in His treatment of them. However, this attitude on their part exposed their hypocrisy, for they were not living in obedience to God.
Mal 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
…….The remnant of Righteous Jews in Judah did not regard God as unfaithful or unfair. In fact, they were treasured by the Lord. Their names were in scribed in gods book of life. They were to God like precious jewels.
Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
…….Because there was a remnant who still chose to serve God wholeheartedly in the midst of derision, they would reap blessings from God beyond comprehension!
Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
…….Not only would the remnant be blessed but God would also cause them to be His example of remaining faithfully dedicated to Him! Kind of like that child who is rewarded in class for making good grades, or that coworker who is exalted above for his efforts, God will cause His children to be blessed to simply be an example of obedience!
CALLED TO REVERENCE
A. Warned of Coming Judgement
Mal 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
…….Malachi prophesied that the day was coming when God would Judge the entire earth and the wicked would be consumed with His judgement. But, unto us who fear His name!!! will be healed and fed and pampered like the calf that is raised in the stall!
Mal 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.
…….After all this time, we will be the ones walking over the tops of ruin of those who have lived striving to ruin God’s purpose in us!
B. Called to Return to God
Mal 4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
…….As Malachi called us to remember the law, we must also remember the Christ given fulfillment of the law! Relationship is not only observing the law outwardly, but placing the law of Christ in our hearts that we may not sin against Him.
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
…….As Moses represented the law, Elijah represents the Prophets. God will once again send the Elijah-like mantle carrying prophets to point the wicked and vile back to the Lord!
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
……. Malachi‘s final word was that, if repentance and spiritual renewal did not occur, the judgment of God against the unrepentant was certain to occur.
God will judge ever individual separately and I refuse to be on any other side than His!!!