My Messenger: Malachi Part 3

 

Malachi 2:17 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?”

Question #4 In what way have we wearied Him?

goes through to 3:6

The people were upset that they were not that the people around them the other nations were not getting their Just Desserts “even though they were giving their sacrifices.”

They are accusing God of not acting justly concerning the actions of nations:

neighboring nations were being evil and not being punished

Judah was being “good” and not being blessed

This is a pervasive theme in the book of Malachi

This is very similar to their sentiment regarding Christ at his return because they believed that He was coming in power and authority to squash all the other nations and raise them up – so Jesus could not have been the Messiah. So this attitude obviously persisted from the time of Malachi some 400 years plus before Christ and they never really did learn the lesson or hear the words of Malachi.

We find the answer to this question in the next six verses and in a sense through to the end of the book. We will see that God is Just and will bring judgment in due time – and as we know to each one in his own order

Chapter 3

Malachi 3:1 “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.

Malak #3 and #4 the 3rd and 4th messengers mentioned in Malachi

#3 John the Baptist

Matthew 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER BEFORE YOUR FACE, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
Matthew 11:11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist

speaking of Jesus Christ and His first coming

the Lord, whom you seek… There is an underlying desire in the previous chapter for their savior to return and deliver them and raise them up higher than the nations around. We see this in the comments they make about how well the other nations are doing in spite of their pagan ways and in their questioning of why God won’t bring them down for their evil deeds.

the Lord…. Even the Messenger of the covenant… It is naming the Lord as the messenger (4th Malak of Malachi) of the new covenant. This is confirmed in

Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason He [Christ] is the Mediator [go between; communicator of the message of God to the people; messenger] of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

in whom you delight… in whom you desire [translated desire other places in the Bible; other translations have this verse as desire;] goes hand in hand with the comments we just made about “whom you seek”

They really need to be careful with what they want though, becauuse they may just get it as we see in the next verse:

Malachi 3:2 “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 launderers’ soap.

Let’s not forget that we are answering question #4 from Malachi 2:17

specifically: “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the LORD, And He delights in them,”

-This is obviously not true and He now begins to tell them that all will be judged (of course we know that this will happen in due time and each in his own order)

And the way that this question is being answered is by talking about prophecy

“But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?… Speaking of Jesus Christ’s return; His second coming. The first verse was His first coming and now the second verse is His second coming.

1. Religious Deception (white horse) (Revelation 6:2)
2. War (fiery red horse) (Revelation 6:3-4)
3. Famine (black horse) (Revelation 6:5-6)
4. Pestilence (pale horse) (Revelation 6:7-8)
5. The Great Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11)
6. Heavenly Signs (Revelation 6:12-14)
7. It is the 7 Trumpets (Revelation 8:1-2, 6)

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

The answer to this question and who can endure is found in

Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Refiner’s fire… launderer’s soap… It is for the cleansing of sin

Malachi 3:3 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.

a refiner and a purifier of silver…

Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah:
Isaiah 1:11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
Isaiah 1:22 Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water.
Isaiah 1:23 Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
Isaiah 1:25 I will turn My hand against you, And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy.

the idea is to remove the impurities through a process of intense heat to produce a person of high moral character

purify the sons of Levi…That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness…. because of the way that the unacceptable sacrifices they had been making that we went over in chapters 1 and 2

Malachi 3:4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD [after the purifying], As in the days of old, As in former years.
Malachi 3:5 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.

Further answering the question “Where is the God of justice?”

In due time God assures them that He will come swiftly against evil-doers as judge AND witness.

He is not unjust or irresponsible but He is keeping an eye on EVERYONE

I will come near you… They wanted Christ to come but it seems as though they haven’t thought this one all the way out.

He will be coming for them! Because they do not fear Me (they did not have the proper respect for Him. This is at the core of the sins they are committing. If they did revere God and understood the penalty He was going to exact, then they would think twice before doing things that Malachi is pointing out. God was not only going to be witness, but also Judge, Jury and Executioner.

In reality, this was not a time that Judah should have been looking forward to

they held these misconceptions

When He returns that He will immediately and automatically raise them up

Inherent in this is that they are not doing wrong.

He is coming for them (Judah and Israel) as well as others during the great tribulation

The time of the great tribulation and the Day of the Lord will be the worst time in all of the history of mankind. Most of those of the houses of Israel and Judah will not escape it.

Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jeremiah 30:2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’ ”

Jeremiah 30:4 Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Jeremiah 30:5 “For thus says the LORD: ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace.
Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale?
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
Jeremiah 30:8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.

Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

The nature of God. He is not capricious. His nature will not change.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Not talking about Him relenting.

He will show mercy if we change to be like Him

But the real question is why is He saying this here and it is because God was saying otherwise you would be consumed. But because He is has a plan and is patient and merciful He will not bring judgment upon them at this time for all the sins that they continually commit.

finished answering the question now to the next one:

Malachi 3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’

Question #5 ‘In what way shall we return?’

Covenant always seemed to be one-sided. God was doing what He promised that He would do, but they were not. They frequently did not do what they said they would do – do you remember their refrain when the covenant was being made, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.”

This was their agreement with God regarding the statutes which further defined the 10 Commandments

The next verse answers the question ‘In what way shall we return?’ and poses another in the process:

Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

An example of how they needed to return to God was in tithing  “Why I Tithe” Message

Will a man rob God?… Didnt say Jew, Israelite or converted man, but ANY man

Yet you have robbed Me!… God considered it thievery

Question #6 ‘In what way have we robbed You?’

They were not tithing as God commanded. This was the financial system that God set up to not only fund His earthly work, but enable us to go the feasts each year as well as provide a means of taken care of the widows orphans and strangers.

God only asked them to give 10% back of 100% that He had given them. Think about it: He had brought them out of slavery in Egypt and by miracle after miracle brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. He did all that for them and all He asked for in return to pay it forward – this was one way in which they could begin to return to God

Malachi 3:9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.

Judah as a whole had succumbed to yet another sinful habit.

Curses had come upon them for not tithing.

*This would explain why they had been complaining about how well everyone else was doing and why they were doing so poorly.

This section about tithing along with the unacceptable offerings explains why they lacked the blessings that they thought they deserved

It is one of the inexorable laws that most of mankind has yet to figure out – and that is that by giving away 10% you will be richly blessed and by keeping the money to yourself you will bring cursings upon yourself, especially when you have been taught to do so.

This does not jive with the carnal mind – so naturally Judah was not doing it and thought that they would be better off by keeping the tithe of God.

Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “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.

try Me now in this… God is saying here to test Him by keeping this command. IT is a conditional promise: He says IF you do your part THEN He will do His part which is: (open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.)

It is interesting that He makes this unconditional promise – He doesn’t make one with prayer or healing or etc., but He does with tithing

He is telling the nation of Judah here that one of the reasons that they are not being blessed physically is because of disobedience to this command.

If you don’t believe in God — This is a way to prove that there is a God. It goes contrary to selfish human nature to give away what you have gotten. But God says if you are faithful in doing this He will be too!

Malachi 3:11 “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,” Says the LORD of hosts;

God gives an example of one of the many ways in which He does this.

Here He protects their livelihood by supernaturally thwarting the pests

Context is the Day of the Lord. It does not come upon people for no reason. It is because of disobedience. Study this chapter with that in mind.

Joel 1:2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?
Joel 1:4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.

Also:

Joel 1:6 For a nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion.
Joel 1:7 He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.

Joel 1:10 The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails.
Joel 1:11 Be ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished.

Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

Joel 1:20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures.

Back to Malachi 3:11 So sometimes, and we must recognize this, that by just having a normal crop, having enough food throughout the year, staying healthy, the things that do not seem above and beyond or extraordinary, are because of God.

As I look backward, I have not gone hungry for lack of food. God has seen to it that my needs have always been met and exceeded – especially by comparison.

As we look around the world, there are nearly a billion people that are persistently hungry and under-nourished for lack of food.

We need to realize THAT we are blessed and HOW we are blessed for obedience, because these people surely do and we see that in the next verse.

Malachi 3:12 And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.

This was God’s original intention. He wanted Israel to be an example to the rest of the world of what a model nation looks like and how it acts.

Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God [Leviticus 19:2]; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples;
Deuteronomy 7:8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
Deuteronomy 7:10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.
Deuteronomy 7:11 Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. [this how they were set apart]
Deuteronomy 7:12 “Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.
Deuteronomy 7:13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.
Deuteronomy 7:14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.
Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.

God wanted the other nations to look upon an obedient Israel and the God that they worshipped and say, “We want what you have.”

Now we transition to the last question

Malachi 3:13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’

Question #7 What have we spoken against You?’

Whether out loud or in their hearts, they have continued with this very wrong attitude.

In much the same way that we started this chapter, they are accusing God of not acting in the right manner.

In this case they are saying:

Malachi 3:14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance [statutes], And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?

They said it was futile to serve God

It is useless to serve God;… Yet again they bring it up because they do not have the correct perspective; they do not see that they are not doing their part in keeping the covenant with God.

What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance… a hint at their wrong motivation.

Malachi 3:15 So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ “

By now we can see why God has grown weary! They constantly harp on the same thing over and over without ever asking the right questions of themselves.

Recurring theme. Once again they were pointing finger at non-God-fearing nations and how God was not saying to them that should do such and such and they prosper and go unpunished.

God will finish answering this question in chapter 4 (noticed some versions do not have a chapter 4 they just make it a continuation of chapter 3 for this reason)

First God addresses (in the remaining verses of this chapter) the fact that in the long run the righteous will be blessed with the ultimate reward:

The Reward of the Righteous

Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

those who feared the LORD spoke to one another… This is speaking of proper fellowship and not the incessant accusations AGAINST God that this book has so diligently recorded.

Their hearts were no longer in God’s work – the work that He was doing in them and those around them. They had been serving God in form but without substance and heart. They were just going through the motions selfishly only in order to get something for themselves.

the LORD listened and heard them;… Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Isaiah 58:13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words,
Isaiah 58:14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

book of remembrance… A record of our thoughts and actions by which we will be judged

was written before Him For those who fear the LORD… Malachi 1:14; 2:5; 3:5; 3:16 This has been addressed three times before in this book

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, [covered by the blood of Christ]

Hebrews 10:15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

Hebrews 10:16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS, AND IN THEIR MINDS I WILL WRITE THEM,”
Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

And who meditate on His name… Do not despise His name. They think on it and dwell on it and what it means and what He says and what they should do.

Malachi 3:17 “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels [His treasure]. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

I will spare them… One of the factors that we discussed in who will return to Jerusalem in the second exodus

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
Jeremiah 23:6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Malachi 3:18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.

Finally they will see things correctly, themselves and those around them which they were not doing most recently in :15 and had been brought out several times in the book of Malachi