Bible Topics In The Christian Library
Your Words Have Been Stout Against Me!
[Mal. 3: 13]

Sermon:  The book of Malachi 1: 1 - 4: 6 "My Messenger"
Thesis:  The importance of obedience in a right relationship with God.
Object:  To motivate the audience to obedience.
Song of Invitation:  # 107; Follow Me!


I.   The rebuilding of the temple during the reign of the Medo-Persian Empire.
        A.   circa 500-400 BC.
        B.   Nehemiah is the governor and Ezra the priest.

II.   The key words are "love" [1:2] and "rebuke." 3: 11] from the "Sun of
        Righteousness whose forerunner is Elijah/John the Baptist!"

III.   "You only get out of it what you put into it."
        A.   If you obey God's will, the promises will be fulfilled eventually.
        B.   If not, the anarchy that Malachi experienced will happen.


I.   Conditional faith and promises.
        A.   If Israel obeyed they would be blessed.
                1.   They did not want to obey.
                2.   Eve and Adam did not want to obey.                             [Gen 3: 6]
        B.   If Israel worshipped properly, they would be blessed.
                1.   God rebukes them through Malachi.
                        i.   "But ye say", "yet ye", "ye say also", "in that ye say",
                              "and ye say", "ye hath said", "this again ye do."
                        ii.   They were talkers, but NOT doers of God's wishes.
                2.   The prophets were God's messengers before Christ.
        C.   Historically, "from the days of your fathers you have gone away from
              My ordinances."                                                                    [Mal 3: 7
                1.   Robbing God of His leadership/guidance of Israel.            [Mal 3: 8
                2.   Wearying the long-suffering God.                                  [Mal 2: 17
                        i.   Words are empty if NOT followed by actions.
                        ii.   Israel did not want to worship satisfactorily.

II.   Unsatisfactory Worship.
        A.   God's chosen people were mechanical in their observance of the law.
                1.   They were legalists!
                2.   Israel did not appreciate that which has been given to them by
                3.   They always wanted to accomplish things THEIR WAY!
                4.   Golden calf was a manifestation of their rebelliousness      [Ex 32: 4
                        i.   NOT the kind of worship God wanted from His own.
                        ii.   God wished obedience, NOT sacrifice!             [1 Sam 15: 22

        B.   Tithes -- you can not outgive God.                                       [Mal 3: 10]
                1.   One's use of money is often a barometer of their spirituality.
                        [1 Jn 3: 17]
                        i.   It shows one's priorities: others or myself?
                        ii.   It shows one's mercy and compassion for others.
                                a.   The love of God can not abide in them.
                                b.   The love of God is NOT self-centered!
                        iii.   The tribe of Levi was commanded to collect           [Heb 7: 5]
                                tithes from everybody.
                                a.   Israel had become delinquint in their tithing.
                                b.   Aren't we all guilty at some time of being delinquent in
                                      our giving?
                2.   The Pharisees became experts in legalism.                     [Mt 23: 23]
                        i.   They even tithed the spices that they offered up to God.
                        ii.   They neglected to offer up "love to others."
                                a.   They did not have a balance between the law and love!
                                b.   Justice, mercy, and faith were left undone.

        C.   Obedience is the key to true worship.                              [1 Sam 15: 22
                1.   Obedience is binding!
                2.   To obey is better than to sacrifice.
                3.   King David's fatherly advice to his son.                      [Ps 40: 6-10
                        i.   Jesus Christ, The Son, did His Father's will.             [Ps 40: 8
                                a.   Am I listening/observant of my parents'?
                                b.   Am I teaching all children to be observant of their
                                      parents wishes or to respect those who are older than
                                      them or in positions of responsibility?
                                c.   Whether my children or not does not matter!
                                d.   I am my brother's keeper!                              [Gen 4: 9
                        ii.   Christ was delighted to do His Father's will.
                                a.   Why?
                                b.   Because His Father's law was "within" his heart.
                        iii.   Am I as sincere about doing God's will?                [Jn 6: 38

                4.   Isaiah rebuked Israel.                           [Isa 40: 2]
                        i.   God will use the Babylonians to chastise Israel "double for all
                              her sins."
                                a.   Israel did not understand true religion.
                                b.   Israel did not obey God's Word in their hearts.
                        ii.   All will pass away, "but the Word of our God stands forever."
                               [Isa 40: 8]
                        iii.   Jeremiah foretold of this new/better law/covenant.
                               [Jer 31: 31-34]
                                a.   God was honing Israel for the Christian age.
                                b.   Weak old law - no complete forgiveness of sin;
                                       atonement had to be made on an annual basis.
                                       [Heb 8-10]

III.   Discipline and consequences in profound acts such as marriage.
        A.   The decay of morality was the reason for rampant divorce.
                1.   Divorce is a national sickness.           [Mal 2: 10-11, 14-16]
                2.   Thinking of self and no one else.
                3.   Debased the family, church, and state.
                        i.   Satisfaction of loins (carnal lusts) rather than others.
                        ii.   Anarchy -- there is no solid trust for society to subsist.

        B.   God is consistent in His relationship with us.
                1.   Christ was the same all the time.           [Heb 13: 8]
                2.   It gives one confidence in His sacrificial mission for us.


I.   "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish his work."
                                                                                [Jn 4: 34]

II.   God is concerned with man knowing that His faith and promises are

III.   God is concerned with proper and continual worship to Him.

IV.   God is concerned with the home and its influence on society.


I.   We invite you to proper worship and morality.

II.   Without obedience, it would be impossible to please Him.

III.   An obedient faith in God is the condition one needs to "be added" to God's
        A.   His promise of eternal life will be our reward.
        B.   God is not slack in rewarding those who obey and live as He demands.
        C.   Those who fear God will be blessed!                        [Mal 4: 1]

Copyright 1999 by Neil C. Prokop may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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