Heart Issue #4; Malachi 2:17-3:5

Half way through the text! Well done! Today we hit the fourth issue in the hearts of the returned exiles:

The people were asking: “Where is the God of Justice?”

The rest of the book deals with the God of Justice; showing that God will make a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous; those who walk in His ways and those who oppress justice.

In chapter 3, we see God answer their questions. They accused God of delighting in evil doers. Here we see how wrong they were. He answers by revealing two more messengers; the final two messengers mentioned in Malachi.

That’s about all the “free information I’m giving you today – now I’m going to ask you to be a bit more active!

First, read 3:1-4. Who is the first messenger? 

[Think through it, and jot your thought down].

This is clearly interpreted in the New Testament. See:

  • Matthew 11:10
  • Mark 1:2

What was John’s role?

 

Second, who is the Lord, the second messenger, who will come quickly to the Temple?

[Think through it, and jot your thought down].

Now see Luke 2:25-32

What was Christ’s role?

 

Note 1: A refiner’s fire led to the purifying of silver through use of a furnace’s heat.

Note 2: Soap as we know it had not been invented. Rather an alkali (made from plant ashes) was used to whiten new cloth. Fuller’s cleansed new cloth by stamping it with their feet.

So the four messengers mentioned in Malachi have now all been seen. Let’s recap quickly:

  • Malachi (1:1)
  • In relation to the priests (2:7)
  • John the Baptist – to prepare the way (3:1)
  • Messiah – messenger of the covenant, to refine and purify (3:1)

Who are the sons of Levi that Christ purifies?

 

Now see 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10.

Note 3: This passage is an example of prophetic telescoping. This simply means that one prophesy looks at a series of events that will occur. The closest, first event, gives encouragement for the later events once it is seen. In this case, John was to prepare people for Christ. Today, having seen his first coming, we can have confidence for His final coming.

  1. The first messenger is John the Baptist
  2. Then it declares Christ’s first coming, immediately after John
  3. And then it jumps ahead to Christ’s second coming when the offerings of God’s people will be brought to God in righteousness and will be pleasing to Him

So what is the application for us today?

*It's time for our heart check up

*It’s time for our heart check up

Healthy Heart Habit #4 = Seek God and His refinement

This book is a call to walk in holiness before the Lord. Let His Spirit and Word refine and mould you into His image. His Word really is a light and lamp unto our feet. Let us go on to maturity in Christ, so that we can commend ourselves just as Paul did:

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. (2 Corinthians 6:3-11)

 

*Image by Lucky Gumbo, curtsey of The Inductive Bible Study Companion; Unlock the Word ©2015

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