Friday, December 21, 2012

Malachi 2:10 - 3:6: Be Faithful and Hope in God

LINK: Malachi 2 & 3 

BACKGROUND

Third Message - Be Faithful (2:10-16)

This message is different in that it doesn't have an initial statement or charge followed by a sarcastic question but has three questions. It is directed at the men who callously divorced their faithful wives in order to marry younger pagan women (Ezra 9:1-4; Nehemiah 13:23-31). This disregarded the Law (Exodus 34:11-16; Deuteronomy 7:3-4) and threatened the religious training of children. By being faithful to the wives of their youth, they were being faithful to God.

Fourth Message - Hope in God (2:17-3:6)

Israel was acting as if they had no God to believe in or hope for. They questioned God's justice. because the wicked prospered (Job 21:7-26; 24:1-17; Psalm 73:1-14; Ecclesiastes 8:14; Jeremiah 12:1-4; Habakkuk 1). God points to a time of justice when He will send His messenger, whom Jesus explicitly identified as John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:76), who will prepare the way (Isaiah 40:3; John 1:23) for the "messenger of the covenant." This is the Messiah, Jesus!

The rest of this message speaks of the "day of the Lord" which will be a day of judgment of the whole world (Isaiah 2:12; Joel 3:11-16; Amos 5:18-21; Zechariah 1:14-18) and the time of Jesus' second coming. He will be like a refiner's fire that burns away dross from metal ores and launderer's soap that will cleanse and purify (Mark 9:3; Revelation 3:5) the Levites so they offer clean sacrifices. He will judge the rest of the nation and purge it of sorcery, adultery, perjury, oppression of workers, widows, and orphans, and mistreatment of aliens. While it is a day of judgment for those who reject Him, it will be a day of comfort and joy for the faithful as they look forward to an eternity in His presence!

REFLECTION/APPLICATION

Those who are faithful to Him have hope for the future and have no need to fear when He comes again. Are you faithful?

PRAYER

Lord, You are a faithful, covenant-keeping God. Teach us to be faithful to You. We praise You for the hope we have in Jesus, and it is in His name we pray. Amen.
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