Weekly Word from Bro. David
September 8, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
As we continue in the series of our 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 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.
The last two weeks in our passage, we have seen that God's people are continually unfaithful and we saw that an unfaithful heart is shown by a lack of commitment to the will of God and by a lack of conviction about the way of God. This is seen in Malachi 2:10-15. Today we see that an unfaithful heart is shown by a lack of concern for the Word of God from Malachi 2:16-17: 16 "For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the Lord of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously." 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?"
As a Christian, the Word of God should be our compass and our guide. There's a song that says, ''Let your heart be your compass, it will guide you whenever you're lost.'' The song may sound good, but it gives some really bad advice. We can't guide or govern our lives by our emotions or our desires. They change like the wind. We must guide and govern our lives according to the Word of God. It is rock solid. It never changes!
God's people reveal a lack of concern for the rules, principles, and commands of Scripture. They either don't know or don't care about what God has required in His Word. There is a disinterest in God and His proclamation as seen in verse 16: 16 "For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the Lord of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."
After providing a beautiful description of marriage in verse 14, God makes an important proclamation concerning marriage in verse 16. Because God loves marriage, He hates divorce. The Bible does not teach that God hates divorced people. It was because God knows the good power of marriage that he hates its destruction. And God certainly does not hate those Israelite women who have been so wantonly discarded by their husbands.
It is because God wanted to protect women from being treated that way that He declares His disgust for divorce. God hates things that harm us, and God hates actions we do that harm others. This is seen in a disinterest in God and His promises in verse 17: 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?"
There's an interesting statement here in verse 17 that reveals what God's people thought of Him and His Word. ''Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord.'' Malachi is quoting the people. It reminds me what the Bible says in the book of Judges. Everyone does what's right in their own eyes.
God's people are saying, it really doesn't matter how you act, God doesn't mind a little sin here and there. Don't worry about what it says in His word, ''Everyone who does evil is good.'' But the Bible says in Isaiah 5:20, ''Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.''
That's exactly what is happening today. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. We've ignored God's Word and completely removed its principles as the standard for morality and justice. And now, we call evil behavior right and moral. We call opposing evil behavior intolerant and bigoted. God help us! We no longer have any concern for the Word of God.
When a plane takes off, it needs a control tower. The control tower can see what the pilots cannot. The pilots have a limited vantage point. They can't see underneath or above them. The pilots, even with all of their instruments, cannot see all the weather conditions that will affect their flight plan. The folks in the control tower can provide the pilots information they wouldn't have because of their limited vantage point. The Word of God is the control tower for the Christian. Where we have only a limited vantage point, God's Word can communicate to us what is going on in the spiritual realm that we can't see.
God is perfect and His Word is perfect. He can see what we cannot see. Therefore, His Word should be our guide and we should take great care in learning its truths. In order to follow the Word, you must know the Word. To know it, you have to read it and study it. Spend time in the Word!
There are many painful issues raised by this section of Malachi, because marriage and the raising of children are tender issues for many. Some want to get married, and cannot find someone to marry. Some want to have children, and are not able to do so. Some feel trapped difficult marriages. Some are married to unbelievers. Some have ended their marriages, and now realize that this was a mistake. Some have experienced painful divorce, especially if they have been discarded by their husband or wife. Many feel that their marriages are in a mess. Many parents feel that they're not doing a good job raising their children.
These verses from Malachi are a call to faithfulness: a call to be faithful in marriage, a call for us to be faithful to our fellow believers, and a call to be faithful to our faithful God. To be faithless to our fellow believers is to be faithless to God. To be faithless to the church of Jesus Christ is to be faithless to God. We must beware, lest our deceiving hearts lead us to betray others and to betray God.