Minor Prophets - Session 12 & 13

Minor Prophets - Session 12 & 13

Scripture: Malachi 1:1-11
Sermon: Minor Prophets - Weeks 12 & 13

Scripture: Malachi 1:1-11
Sermon: Minor Prophets - Weeks 12 & 13

"I have loved  you," says the Lord.

"But you ask,  'How have you loved us?'

"Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the Lord. "Yet I have loved Jacob,  but Esau I have hated,  and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland  and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. "
Edom  may say, "Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild  the ruins."  But this is what the Lord Almighty says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, 'Great is the Lord-even beyond the borders of Israel!'
"A son honors his father,  and a slave his master.  If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect  due me?" says the Lord Almighty.
"It is you priests who show contempt for my name.
"But you ask,  'How have we shown contempt for your name?'
"By offering defiled food  on my altar.
"But you ask,  'How have we defiled you?'
"By saying that the Lord's table  is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals,  is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased  with you? Would he accept you?" says the Lord Almighty. 
"Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings  from your hands, will he accept  you?"-says the Lord Almighty.
"Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors,  so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased  with you," says the Lord Almighty, "and I will accept  no offering  from your hands. My name will be great  among the nations,  from where the sun rises to where it sets.  In every place incense  and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations," says the Lord Almighty.
-Malachi 1:1-11
Fellowship Bible Church

This passage pleads for us to ask questions about ourselves and carefully examine our spiritual condition.  The priests and the people to whom Malachi preached certainly didn't seem to be willing to perform that type of examination; rather, they found it way more conducive to their heart's desires to make excuses for their mistakes rather than ask those type of self penetrating questions.  In their excuses they actually pointed the finger back to God and tried to blame God.  Think about that for a moment.  The prophet Malachi had already told them that God was cutting communication with them and that it was better just to shut down the place of worship rather than try to play a religious game. How did they respond?  They responded by telling the Great King that their problem was God's fault.  

When you really start to dig into the book of Malachi and discover the context of what is happening, I found it very easy to simply point the finger at the people and the priests of his day and wonder what made these people so clueless.  However, when we start to examine our own hearts we can see the same stubborn tendency in us and our unwillingness to change.  

Consider what our worship to God looks like to Him when we come to church on Sundays... we sing... we pray... read Scriptures together, and then walk out the doors unchanged.  How is it that we can sing praises to God in front of others but in the secret places of our heart there is unconfessed sin?  

I'm so thankful that our God is a God of love and that His compassions will never fail us but the sobering fact of Malachi Chapter 1 is that the prophet never proclaims any of those attributes of God.  Rather, in Chapter 1 Malachi calls us back to fear our God who is completely sovereign, judges rightly, is our heavenly Father, our Master, and is the Great King.  I think he is trying to make a point!

Are there areas in your life that God has helped you stop making excuses for?