Weekly Word from Bro. David
August 18, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
This is our fifth section in this series on as we study through the Old Testament prophecy of Malachi. We're in Malachi 2:10-17 as we think about this subject; evidence of an unfaithful heart.
God is faithful to His people, and calls His people to be faithful to Him. The prophet also wants us to see that people are not only called to be faithful to God, but also faithful to each other, within the covenant community of God's people.
Today in our passage, we see that God's people are continually unfaithful and we see that unfaithful heart is shown by a lack of commitment to the will of god.
10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?
11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The Lord's holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts! vs. 10-12
God's people knew the law. They knew what God required of them. They just didn't care. They would do what they wanted to. They would rather follow their own path than consider the path of God. Faithfulness or trustworthiness is a great virtue: God's people fail to keep their words. It is a tragedy when people are not reliable, trustworthy and faithless to each other. Proverbs 20:6 says: 6 Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?
We see first of all a disregard for God and His people in verse 10. Their unfaithfulness is shown in their lack of concern and care for the people of God. Mark it down: one sign of unfaithfulness is a casual attitude toward the people of God and toward the church.
Malachi appeals to God as our Father and God's people as our family. He says, ''Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?'' In other words, we are a part of God's family. But it's a clear evidence of an unfaithful heart when you have no concern for the people of God.
He also wants us to see there is a disregard for God and one of His principles: marriage. 11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The Lord's holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.
Malachi begins by saying ‘‘Judah has been faithless.'' The people of God had shown their unfaithfulness by marrying ''the daughter of a foreign god.'' What does this mean? It means that God's people had completely disregarded His principles concerning intermarriage. They had been commanded not to marry foreign women.
The men loving pagan women wasn't a new problem in the Jewish nation. In Ezra 9:1-4 it is also seen:
1 When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, "The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass."
3 So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished.
4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.
And Nehemiah had to contend with this problem (Neh. 13:23-31) 23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.
24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.
25 So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, "You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves.
26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.
27 Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?"
28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore I drove him from me.
29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
30 Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also assigned duties to the priests and the Levites, each to his service,
31 and to bringing the wood offering and the firstfruits at appointed times. Remember me, O my God, for good!
And it's not totally absent from the church today (2 Cor. 6:14-18) 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."
17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."
18 "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty."
In divorcing their Jewish wives and marrying pagan women, the men were committing several sins. To begin with, they broke their vows to God and to their wives. They were profaning God's covenant and treating it as nothing.
Let me be clear, the point was not the race of the women; it was that they were ''daughters,'' that is, followers, ''of a foreign god.'' This is not at all about race, it is about religion.
When I lived in South Carolina, I had a deacon tell me that he had no problem with other races. They could come in his home, eat from his table, and go to his church. But they couldn't marry his daughter because the Bible didn't allow it. He had a complete misunderstanding of this simple biblical principle.
Paul emphasizes this in 2 Corinthians 6:14-16: 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” We are all one race, descendants of Adam and Eve. Ken Ham said that there are only different shades of one color. So, the issue in the Bible is never about the color of someone's skin, it's about the commitment of their heart.
Thirdly, we also see a disregard for God and His punishment: 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
The men of Judah were divorcing their Hebrew wives and embracing new pagan wives. This was inconceivable! And Malachi reminds them of great dangers when you ignore the will of God. He says that those who are guilty will be ''cut off from the tents of Jacob.'' To be ''cut off'' means that they are no longer a part of God's covenant people. To disregard God's will and purpose is to separate yourself from the presence and promise of God.
If you are driving and headed for the highway, you will eventually have to drive on a service road, up onto the on-ramp, and then onto the highway. You will have to merge into the traffic. In order to merge, you will have to slow down and look behind you to pay attention to the rest of the cars on the highway. They will be rolling and you will be the one to have to merge. You are merging with the cars traveling on the highway; they are not merging with you. You merge onto the highway because it is the most direct route to lead you to where you want to go. Many of us want to get on the on-ramp and have the highway traffic stop to let us on, but that's not the way it works.
God is going somewhere and He's the main highway. He wants us to merge with Him and His program. He's not trying to stop His program to merge with us. That would be backward. This is not how it works. We ought to be willing to submit to the will of God.
God doesn't line up with our will; we are called to line up with His will. This means we need to know the will of God and make His will a priority for our lives.
Next week we will see how an unfaithful heart is shown by a lack of conviction about the way of God.