Malachi 1-4, Revelation 22

Malachi 1:6-7
“’A son honors his father, and a servant his master.  If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?’ says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ You offer defiled food on My altar, but say,‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible. ’”

Through the prophetic promptings of Haggai and Zechariah the temple had been rebuilt, but the rebuilding of the temple did not usher in the Messiah as they had hoped.  This led to discouragement and ultimate sin.  People question why the Lord would be displeased with them, when in reality it is because they want to do things their way.  They wanted to offer sacrifices, and worship in the way they wanted.  With God it doesn’t work that way.

Malachi 2:7
For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

What a great and convicting verse this is.  Every pastor should guard knowledge, and that knowledge should be the knowledge of God.  People don’t need my opinion, they need God’s opinion.  I pray that I might always be a messenger of the Lord and that our people might be protected from hearing anything less.

Malachi 2:16
‘For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’

Why does God hate divorce?  Malachi says it very clearly.  It covers one’s garment with violence.  Divorce is a violent act that tears away flesh.  Marriage is the remarkable joining of two people to be one.  It is a picture of our relationship with Jesus.  When we give our hearts and our lives to Jesus, it is forever.  Marriage should be no different.  Jesus said about marriage, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate (Matthew 19:6).”

Malachi 3:6
“For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

I have been thinking of late, of doing a message entitled, “Our God is a God of Change”.  We see this in so much of our world, in the seasons, in the transformation of souls, and any number of things that man cannot take credit for.  So, is this a contradiction to that?  Absolutely not. The change that Malachi speaks of is that of his eternal truths about our relationship with Him.  John 14:6 says, ‘Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by Him.’  This is written in stone and thanks be to God can and will never change.

Malachi 3:10
‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘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.’

I will never fully understand the principal of tithing but I believe it.  The Lord says, “Try me now in this.”  I have been praying to be more generous in a number of ways…and lo and behold just this morning, I get a totally unexpected check from the sale of our house two and a half months ago.  God’s word is amazing and perfect!

Malachi 3:14-15
“You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts? 15 So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.’”

We must never question God’s ways of doing things.  Sometimes it is hard.  We don’t understand why evil things happen, and then those who do the evil don’t seem to pay.  In fact, in many ways it can seem like they prosper.  We mustn’t be fooled.  God will judge the evil, in his timing, and it won’t be pretty.

Malachi 4:5
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

The prophet spoken of here is a reference to John the Baptist.  We know that from Matthew 11:14, where Jesus referring to John the Baptist says, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”

Revelation 22:3-5
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

I love these verses.  I guess Jesus knew what He was talking about when He declared in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  What a great and glorious day that will be…I can’t wait!

Revelation 22:9
Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

Heavenly beings always deflect worship to God.  We live in a day and age where so many things are being worshipped.  Every attempt to worship anything other than the Lord should be thwarted and redirected to the only one who is worthy of all our worship.

Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

There are scoffers who would say that this warning is a reference to the Book of Revelation only and not to the entire Bible.  Such people are looking for loopholes to live the lives they want to live.  God’s word says that all of Scripture is God breathed, and that His word is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  It would be foolish to take any part of God’s word any less than literal.

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