Weekly Word from Bro. David
September 15, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
We've been steadily studying the OT book of Malachi for several weeks now. Today, we begin chapter 3 as we look at Malachi 2:17-3:5 and think about the subject, there is coming a day.
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say, "In what way have we wearied Him?" In that you say, "Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord, And He delights in them," Or, "Where is the God of justice?" 1 "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," Says the Lord of hosts.
2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap.
3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.
4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the Lord, As in the days of old, As in former years.
5 And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien-- Because they do not fear Me," Says the Lord of hosts.
Between Malachi 2, that deals with the sin of the people in divorcing their spouses and marrying unbelievers, and Malachi 3, that deals with their sin of robbing God of tithes and other obligations, there is a section dealing with the coming of the Lord judgment.
The verses begin with an exchange that should be familiar by now to any student of Malachi. Seven times in this book God makes a statement either directly or indirectly critical of the people, and they reply by challenging the statement.
In 1:2 God tells the people, ''I have loved you.'' They respond by asking, ''How have you loved us?'' The second and third exchanges occur just verses later. God says, ''It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name.'' The priests reply, ''How have we shown contempt for your name?'' God answers. READ 1:6-7 6 "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? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, 'In what way have we despised Your name?' 7 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, 'In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, 'The table of the Lord is contemptible.'
We find this same type of exchange at the beginning of this section, where it says that the people''have wearied the Lord with [their] words.'' 2:17 They reply, ''How have we wearied him?''
God is offended that the people accuse him of injustice. They say, ''All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them.'' That is, the wicked prosper. And they imply, ‘‘We who do good [they considered themselves to have been quite good] are evil in the eyes of the Lord, and he is not pleased with us.''
The people of God ask this question, ''Where is the God of justice?'' What they mean is this: ''Why are wicked people winning and righteous people suffering?'' And their conclusion is, ''God must not really care about us and He doesn't seem to mind about those who do evil.''
But in Malachi 3:1-5, God promises that one day the wicked will get what's coming to them. God promises there is coming a day when judgment will arrive.
Sinners have a jar. Once the jar is full, it's over. Every time a sinner rebels against God, they fill up the jar. When the jar is full, God judges them. You see, we should seek the Lord while He may be found and before judgment falls, when it's too late to seek Him. Don't try to get right after He's already started passing judgment. Many a child has realized too late that they were headed for a spanking and tried to avoid the punishment by promising their parents they wouldn't disobey again. It's too late then! We must seek the Lord and His ways before He pulls out correction to address the sin. The time to repent is now!
God promises that there is coming a day when He will judge all wickedness, reward righteousness, and set the crooked things straight.