1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Malachi, Lesson III, Malachi 1:6-14

 

Before we move into verses 6-14 in our study of Malachi we will read again verses 1-5.

Malachi 1:1-5, The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever. And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.

 

The question is asked of God by Israel, Wherein hast thou loved us?

And the answer comes from God who brings them back to the basics as to why they are able to even say anything about Godís love. 

What other nation can so ask for there is no other nation who has been chosen as God has chosen Israel.

We have read the Apostle Paulís account in Romans, a totally convincing account of Godís full and righteous action in determining the outcome of all things and all His acts will result in making known the riches of His glory. 

 

Read Isaiah 3:1-5 and see Godís involvement in the direction of Israel and is there any reason to think he is not involved in a like manner today in our nation?

 

Isaiah 3:1-5, For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

 

God is sovereign and he giveth the mighty man, the man of war, the judge and the prophet but he also taketh away.

 

But even with His taking away, all things will work together to bring glory to God for God has so foreordained all things.

Edom does not believe this, Edom being an example of the world, for Edom says they will return and build the desolate places but what God says is that he will throw down what they build for He will have indignation against them forever. 

And that He chooses to be magnified from the border of Israel. 

 

This message pertains to this day as you witness a never forgiving God of the enemies of Israel and that never forgiving God will show himself greatly in the days of the return of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

And the reason for this is that God has chosen to take to Himself a people for His name and no one, no enemy can undo that not because of any qualities or goodness upon the part of these people but only because of the sovereignty of God.

 

They shall build, but I will throw down;

 

I am a child of God not because of any merits I may have for I have none worthy of Godís attention. 

 

I am saved only because God chose to save me. 

 

He tells us that narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. 

 

And only those whom God draws will find the way. 

 

Jesus said as recorded in John 6:44, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

But broad is the way that leads to destruction and all begin on that way but God snatches some He chooses to snatch.  

 

What does this God intend for the children of Israel to take away from this burden of Malachi? 

 

God faces apathy and indifference but how can this be if they truly realized Godís Grace in action on their part.

 

In verse 5 they are told: The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.

 

This is what should be filling the borders of Israel in contrast to the border of wickedness in Edom. 

 

The message is, God gives us existence in His kingdom, soley by his election, soley by His grace that we will exalt His name because of His great love extended our way, a way which only deserves His wrath.

 

We are saved to glory in God and to tell of His Excellency. 

 

We are saved to bring others to glory in Him by understanding what great salvation we have received. 

As the hymn declares:

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

 

So we have seen on our study thus far that God has told Israel that He loves them and they have asked Wherein hast thou loved us?

He then tells them that they have despised His name to which, as errant children, they ask Wherein have we despised thy name?

They then come back and again dispute Godís word And ask Wherein have we polluted thee?

He begins this discourse in Malachi 1:6-14, A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. 13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

God is bringing their dreadful minds down to where they live. 

 

He asks them to think about what their governor would think of them had they treated him as they treat their God.

 

Had they done this to their governor it would definitely be a great sign of disrespect and would indicate a despising of the governorís position or name.

 

All of us, whether we agree or disagree with our President, if he were to visit our house would go to great pains to make all ready, for such an important personage.

 

My wife, when anyone is to come, repair man or missionary, goes though great preparation for the visit in order for the guest to feel very welcome.

 

And guests never ever are served leftovers which in this passage God makes plain that is what he is receiving.

 

God claims Father status, he claims great King status and He claims Lord of Hosts status so He therefore claims from Israel the best that can be given. Give of your best to the Master!

 

But they give not the best as revealed here, in that the priests, for personal profit, disobeyed the clear word of the Lord regarding sacrifice. 

 

The people of the day knew that the corrupt priests would accept the blemished lamb and offer it on the altar anyway doing a favor to the farmer who kept the unblemished animals for himself and his profit. 

 

Most likely the priests would even substitute a blemished lamb if an unblemished lamb were offered so they could sell the perfect lamb for a decent price and keep the profit.

 

They were a ďwhatever generationĒ, a generation who compromised the word of God but kept the outward practices thus satisfying the multitude.  

 

Going through the motions was their modus operandi.

 

Of course this practical solution satisfied everyone but it did not satisfy God for it was in direct conflict with Godís word which is to be believed and obeyed by faith.

 

What God says is to be done, even if the cost of doing it exceeds the cost of doing what is practical. Sacrifice is required!

 

And in this all God asks, where is mine honor, where is my fear, and indicts the priests of despising His name for they were despising the altar of sacrifice, a place foretelling the sacrifice of the Unblemished Lamb of God, Godís Son, Jesus Christ.

 

The priests had forgotten their role of proclaiming this perfect sacrifice through this ritual and had substituted practical methods which seemed reasonable to all of the time. 

 

They had conveniently forgotten Lev 22:24, which clearly provided instructions for any sacrifice:

 

Ye shall not offer unto the Lord that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.

 

They had come to an opinion that the commands of the law were too rigid for their time and it made sense to be practical about things like this. 

 

Shave off a little here, trim a little there. My, how nothing changes!

 

The thinking was it doesnít make sense to kill these fine animals and save the ones that are not perfect. 

 

This is the way of the world where the profit motive is king.

 

We are obeying God by conducting sacrifices arenít we? 

It just does not make sense to take the best and use it for such a destructive process.

 

This is such an appropriate and reasonable minor change they reasoned.

 

Certainly God understands they convinced themselves.

 

But God never understands disobedience to His word and therefore tells them by their practical method of worship they despise His name.

 

Malachi reminds us to look around and take note for we live in the age of convenience and that age has permeated the church.

 

We are the body of Christ and in that description of the church there is given all we need to know about how the church is to function.