Wrestling with Truth — September 2, 2012

MALACHI (chapters 1 – 4)

IS THERE ANY HOPE?

1.                 [The people of Israel]  . . . were doubting God’s love

2.                 They were dishonoring God’s name

3.                 They were profaning God’s covenant

4.                 They were trying God’s patience

5.                 They were forsaking God’s ordinances

6.                 They were despising God’s service

7.                 Yet some began to heed Malachi’s message – Mal 3:16-4:6

  • God’s messenger (John), who would come in the spirit of Elijah and prepare people for the coming of the Lord (Mal 4:5; Luke 1:16)
  • The messenger of the covenant (Jesus), who comes to refine and purify those willing to repent, and brings judgment on those who do not fear the Lord (Mal 3:1-3)
  • God’s special people are (Mal 3:17):
    • Those the Lord would claim as his
    • Those the Lord would make his “jewels”
    • Those the Lord would spare as a man spares his own son who serves him

–outline modified from Mark A. Chapman

CONSIDER ALSO PASSAGES FROM THE MESSIAH THAT ARE FROM MALACHI

SUCH AS:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8RmuvkwGrI

THE ETHICAL, THE THEOLOGICAL, AND THE AESTHETIC

“George La Piana, the Harvard church historian, has said that every religious movement passes through three stages: the ethical, the theological, the aesthetic.  It begins as an instinctive moral reform; it goes on to the reflective formulation of its faith and practice; finally it elaborates in terms of beauty its buildings and the apparatus of its worship.  The last of these stages marks a point of intellectual arrest and often of incipient moral decay.  The movement must then be born again in a fresh reformation, primarily moral in its intention.

“There is every reason why we should give hard thought to the substance of our theology, and added reason for enriching our worship; but if these preoccupations mark a decline in moral earnestness, they are not of themselves guarantees of the survival of religion.  The burden of the prophets and the teaching of Jesus were often aimed at theological sophistication and ceremonial elaboration.  The alloy of pedantry and aestheticism needs constantly to be refined out of what should be the pure metal of morally earnest faith.”[Willard L. Sperry, “The Book of Malachi” in The Interpreter’s Bible (Abingdon, 1956, volume 6, pp. 1138-1140.]

TLT

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