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Saturday, May 20, 2023

5-20-2023 Malachi 3:1-18  Malachi 3:1-18 – Transition, what we were and where God wants us to be

Passing from one reality to the next

May is a time for God’s grace and favor and now, over the next several years, we are also in times of transition –the Spiritual Explosion, a downpour of the latter rain.  Father is meeting us wherever we are and encouraging us to grow closer to Him.

Many of us are familiar with Mal. 3:8 (tithing), but how many of us have read the verses before or after?

Malachi continues Zechariah’s mentioning God’s curses because of their disobedience but also gives Israel hope for a bright and gorgeous future, if they are obedient.

Malachi begins the chapter with 1 “Behold, I send my messenger (John the Baptist) and he shall prepare the way before Me (Father), and the Lord (Jesus), whom you seek, shall suddenly come into His temple (Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah). 

2 But who may abide in the day of His coming?  Who shall stand when He appears, for He is like a refiner’s fire and a cleansing soap. 

3 And as a refiner, a purifier of silver, He shall purify the sons of Levi (and us), as one does with gold and silver, that they (we) may offer an offering of righteousness to the Lord.

(Though Malachi is speaking to Israel, this also speaks to us today.  Unlike the Jewish clergy who made sure that the outside of the vessel looked good (but ignoring the dead bones inside), Jesus is (has) coming to purify the whole vessel [all who believe] Matt. 23:27).  

4 Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem (and us) be pleasant to the Lord and those days shall be as the former years. 

(Israel will come to worship God as they did when Father was establishing them as a nation.  Again, for today, those who knew Jesus and have strayed (since Jesus’ ascension), all may be solidified in our faith.  That is, comeback and/or into a more solid relationship with Father through our Lord Jesus.)

5 I will come to you for judgment.  I will be a swift witness to the sorcerers, against the adulterers, the false swearers and those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow or the fatherless or even the strangers from what is right and who don’t fear me, says he Lord of Hosts.

(In Matthew, do the words of Jesus ring in our ears?  I shall say to them “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you didn’t feed me.  I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink.  I was a stranger and you did not take me in.  I was naked and you gave me no clothes.  I was imprisoned and you didn’t visit me … because you have not done it to the least of these [in My kingdom] you have not done it to Me.”  {Matt. 25:41-45}  Of course, then, the opposite is also true (Matt. 25:34-40) – when we have done these things, the Lord is with us.  In short, when we don’t help our fellow man, we ‘dis’ God – and He’s is not very happy about that.  When we stray from God’s love and don’t repent and don’t come back, we will be in deep doodoo.)  But, when we do the things Jesus suggests, we solidify our place in eternity.  

6 I am the Lord, I don’t change, and therefore the sons of Levi are not consumed.  (as a whole, the tribe of Levi ‘hung in there’ with God)


7 Even from the day of your fathers, you (Israel [& us?]) have left My ordinances and have not kept them.  Return to Me and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.  And they asked God ‘How shall we return?’  You ask how have you robbed Me?  In tithes and offerings.”

God then asks the question “Will a man rob God?” (v8).  And they asked ‘How have we robbed You?’ and God’s response is ‘in tithes and offerings’.

Father goes on in, v9-12, on how He will bless them (us) when they (we) do right.  He will bless us, stand against our enemies for us and cause what we do to prosper.  Father gave Israel many blessings for doing good things.   Is it any wonder that, even today, the Jewish people believe that ‘doing good’ is all they need to do (They’ve kept the letter of the law)?  What did we just say about the vessels, earlier?  What did Jesus say about entering the kingdom of God?  Do ‘straight & narrow’ ring a bell (Matt. 7:13-14, John 14:6)?

Father reminds Israel (and us) how they have acted towards Him even to the point in saying that it is useless to serve Him because they have walked before Him and have gained nothing.  They called evil good and good evil (v13-15, Isa. 5:20).  That’s walking before the Lord?

Man has turned God’s words around to justify his own ends and yet, he expects God to honor his requests (prayers).  The only prayer God has to hear, of those who don’t know Him or who have turned away, is the prayer of repentance and salvation.  Father does hear the prayers of all who truly seek Him and love and obey Him (Prov. 15:29, 1 John 5:14). 

Then the just remembered God and God heard them and wrote their names in His book (v16).  What book?  In Revelation we see the books (of works) and then the book of life opened (Rev. 20:11-15).  Because of their (our) faithfulness, God says He will treat them (us) as the finest gems and spare them (us) as a man spares his own son who serves him (v17).  Abraham went to sacrifice his son Isaac’s life yet God stopped him and spared Isaac (Gen. 22:9-13).  A prophecy of what God was preparing to do for us!  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)!  The jeweler is very meticiulous about his gems.  So is God who cares about us, making us the best that we can be (Psalm 23:6, Rom 8:28).

Then, these shall be able to discern between righteousness and wickedness and those who serve God and those who don’t.” (v18).   

Want discernment?  Want to know who truly are your brothers and sisters in Christ?  As we love and serve Father, the Holy Ghost will lead us into all truth and understanding (John 16:13, 2 Tim. 2:7).  Living in the Word of God enables us (even us) to separate the soul and the spirit, joints and marrow even the thoughts and intents of the heart of man (Heb. 4:12).  The Spirit helps us to recognize whatever it is that we are dealing with!  We just need to ask (John 14:13-17) and listen and obey.  God will open our eyes.

So, how doses Malachi reflect transition?  He helps us to understand that in transitioning from the old man to a new creature in Jesus Christ (2 Corinth. 5:17), we obtain new life and hope which Jesus has given us (John 14:2-4).  This also includes those who have known our Lord, strayed away and are now coming back into relationship with Him.  That is learning to walk in the Spirit of God as the Holy Ghost guides us and gives us the strength, that is power, to live this life (Acts:1:8).  In other words: as we yield ourselves over to Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord because the Holy Ghost is alive and well and functioning in our lives (not quenched 1 Thess. 5:18-19), we will be able and continue to transform into the person God desires us to be.

Father is our light and our life because we have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord (as well as Savior) and we yield to the Holy Ghost (who abides in us) and follow His direction.


Let it be so!

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