Talks for Growing Christians
A Prediction; Further Rebukes; Encouragement
Lesson Number 4
- Believers commit the sin of robbery when they give sparingly.
- Believers commit the sin of arrogance when they think selfishly.
- Is your name written in the book of remembrance?
- When the Jews came back to Jerusalem from their seventy-years captivity in Babylon, there was good new and there was bad news.
a. What was the good news?
b. What was the bad news?
- Refer to Malachi 3:1-6. What is this portion of scripture about?
- When will the Lord come in judgment and how will he come?
- What kind of teaching method does Malachi use predominantly in his book?
- Why will God refine Israel and ultimately restore them?
- a. The good news was they rebuilt the altar of sacrifice, and then they rebuilt the temple, and finally they rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem.
b. The bad news was that they were not fully committed to the Lord for much of this time.
- This is a parenthesis in the rebukes, predicting the coming of John the Baptist. He is the messenger who precedes the coming of the Lord. See also Matthew 11:10.
- He will come at His second advent. Then he will come and judge Israel like a refiner's fire, buring out the impurities. See Malachi 3:2-5.
- The question-answer method.
- Because of His covenant promises with them. God does not go back on His promises.
- Under the law, the Jews were required to tithe from their substance in order to maintain the work of the Lord. But the people of Malachi's day were not tithing. From God's perspective, this was robbing Him. As Christians, we are not commanded to tithe. however, voluntary tithing is a biblical principle. Believers commit the sin of robbery when they give sparingly. Are you giving freely or are you robbing God?
- The backsliders of Malachi's day had the nerve to say that it was futile to serve God. They were so arrogant that they were saying that obedience and repentance did not pay off in benefits to themselves. They were so blind to their own arrogance and evil that they actually accused God of blessing others, who they said were unworthy. Have you ever had a what's-in-it-for-me attitude when you served the Lord? Have you ever been so arrogant in your thinking that you thought God was unfair and unjust when He passed over you in favor of someone you considered more unworthy than yourself? Beware of the sin of arrogance when you think selfishly.
- “Those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them. A book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His Name.” Malachi 3:16. The people spoken of here were and will be the godly remnant. How about you? When you are with other believers, what is your conversation? Do you please the Lord with your words? Do you center your conversation on the Lord Jesus? The Lord listens, and He writes in a book of remembrance.
- “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.” Malachi 3:1
- “I am the Lord, I do not change…” Malachi 3:6
- “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse…try Me now in this, says the Lord…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.” Malachi 3:10