24 Sep

Scroll to the bottom for thoughts/discussion questions!

One-sentence summary: The last word of the Lord before the New Covenant comes through Malachi, and the Lord promises to send the Messiah and heal His people; He will send one in the spirit of Elijah who will prepare the way for Him, and He will turn the hearts of the fathers and the children toward one another.

The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi:

The Lord says to His people, "I have loved you," but they ask, "In what way have You loved us?" He responds, "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Yet Jacob I have loved, and Esau I have hated and laid waste his mountain and his heritage... A son honors his father and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My reverence?" He asks this to the priests who "despise [His] name." They ask how they have despised it, and the Lord says they offer defiled food on His altar. Malachi tells the people to entreat God's favor now while He is being gracious to them. The Lord says from the rising of the sun to its setting, His name will be great among the Gentiles. In every place, incense will be offered in His name with a pure offering. However, his people profane His name among the Gentiles. They say the table of the Lord is "a weariness," and they bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick as an offering. The Lord curses "the deceiver who sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished" after having made a vow to Him. "For I am a great King, and My name is to be feared among the nations," He says.

The command to the priests is if that if they will not listen and take it to heart to give glory to the Lord's name, He will send a curse on them and curse their blessings. He says He has already cursed them because they do not take it to heart. He will rebuke their descendants and spread refuse on their faces. The Lord says that this is so that his covenant with Levi may continue, a covenant "of life and peace." He gave made it with Levi that he might fear the Lord, and he did and was reverent for the Lord's name. "The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with the Lord in peace and equity and turned many away from iniquity." The Lord says, "For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have departed from the way. You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi." Therefore, the Lord has made them "contemptible and base before all the people because they have not kept the Lord's ways but have shown partiality in the law." Malachi asks if Israel and Judah do not have one Father and one Creator, and if so, why they have dealt treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of their fathers. Judah has dealt treacherously, and abomination has been committed in Israel and Jerusalem. Judah has married the daughter of a foreign god. They "cover the Lord's altar with tears, weeping, and crying so that He does not regard it or receive it with goodwill anymore." They ask why, and the Lord answers it is because they have dealt treacherously with the wives of their youth. The Lord has made them one through marriage in order to seek godly offspring. He tells them to take heed and not to deal treacherously with the wives of their youth, because "The Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce. For it covers one's garment with violence." He tells them therefore to "take heed to their spirits." They have wearied the Lord with their words in saying that everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord and that He delights in them, and they ask, "Where is the God of justice?"

The Lord says, "Behold! I send My messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me, and the Lord, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in Whom you delight. Behold! He is coming!... But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiners's fire and like launderers soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver." He will cleanse the offspring of Levi, and their offerings will be pleasant to Him again. The Lord will "come near them for judgment and be a witness against evildoers... For I am the Lord. I do not change. Therefore, you are not consumed." He says, "Return to Me, and I will return to you. But you said, 'In what way shall we return?' Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me... Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in My house. And try Me now in this, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground. Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field... and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful host." The Lord says their words have been harsh against Him, saying that it is useless to serve Him and that it does not profit them to serve Him or to keep His commands or mourn for sin. They "call the proud blessed" because "those who do wickedness are raised up." They say wicked people tempt the Lord and go free. Malachi says, "Then, those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on HIs name." The Lord says, "They shall be Mine on the day that I make them My jewels, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him."

The Lord says, "For behold! The day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud.. all who do wickedly, will be stubble, and the day which is coming will burn them up. That will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name, the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in His wings. And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet. On the day that I do this, remember the law of Moses, My servant... Behold! I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."

Thoughts/discussion questions:

The Lord has a book where everyone who talks about Him is recorded. How beautiful!

Jesus is the Son of Righteousness! We wait for Him!

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