Talks for Growing Christians
A Call to Repentance
Lesson Number 3
- God is not pleased when His people are ignorant of His word.
- God is not pleased when His people do not separate from this world.
- God is not pleased when His people are unfaithful in their marriages.
- What is the theme of Malachi?
- When was Malachi written?
- Why did God raise up the prophet Malachi at this time?
- Refer to Malachi Chapter 1. Why were the people rebuked by God?
- Refer to Malachi Chapter 2. What were the other areas of rubuke?
- Backsliding rebuked.
- At the end of the Old Testament period.
- When Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem in 445 B.C., he motivated the people to rebuild the city wall, and at that time there had been a great revival. But after some time, Nehemiah had to return to Persia for a couple of years. it may have been during this time that the backslidden state of Israel, described by Malachi, came about. God raised up Malachi to rebuke the people because of their backsliding.
- The people were rebuked for bring defective sacrifices to the Lord, and for despising God's way of worship.
- The failure of the priests to instruct the people in the law of the Lord; the sin of intermarriage with the surrounding pagan peoples; and the problem of divorce, which the Lord hated.
- Read Malachi 2:1-9. The priests were rebuked for failing to teach and instruct God's people in the law. One of the responsibilities of the priests was to instruct people in the law of God. See Deuteronomy 33:10. The Levites of Malachi's day dishonored God by not fulfilling their responsibilities, and therefore they would not be blessed, but they would actually experience the curses that were pronounced in the law. Just as the priests and Levites of Malachi's day had a responsibility to teach and instruct the people of God in the ways of the Lord, so do preachers and servants of the Lord today have a responsibility to teach the word and instruct God's people in the ways of the Lord. Many of those with this responsibility are not doing their job. As a result, the people of God are ignorant of God's word and in the ways of the Lord. What do you see as your responsibility here?
- In Malachi's day, there was a problem of intermarriage between the people of God and pagans of the surrounding foreign nations. This sin was expressly forbidden in God's law (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). Intermarriage was a serious sin because GodÕs people were no longer separate from this world. The same is true today when believers live a worldly life style. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Are you living a life pleasing to God or are you catering to a worldly life style?
- The men of Malachi's day were divorcing their wives so that they could marry younger women or pagan women. This was wrong. God had said that He hated divorce. Has God changed His mind now that we are in modern times? No. God still hates divorce, and He is pleased with repentance and forgiveness and reconciliation. God loves to see Christian families where children are being brought up to love and serve the Lord. Divorce makes it difficult to raise godly offspring. What is your part in this scene?
- The people of Malachi's day were saying that God was not just because evil people were getting away with wrong doing. God was getting weary of this kind of talk. How blind could they be? They were the guilty ones; they deserved to be judge; yet they thought they were not so bad, and they were still going through their religious rituals. They were desensitized to their sins. Is it possible that you are questioning God and wondering why He is not blessing your life? Is it possible that you are blind to your own sins? Have you examined your life in light of scripture? Has the world desensitized you to your sins? Are you just going through the motions of church? Don't be blind like the Israelites in Malachi's day.
- “You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying…” Malachi 2:13
- “God hates divorce." Malachi 2:16
- “You have wearied the Lord with your words…by saying, Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord.” Malachi 2:17