Malachi, Messenger of the Unchanging Lord of Love

Brian Mahon - 8/20/2023


Call to worship: Matthew 25:31-46

Text: Malachi 2:17-3:18


There is an esteem for God that distinguishes the lovers of God in time and for eternity. Israel and his priesthood had failed at this point. They wearied God with their words as those who had wearied of God in their hearts. Once more, they'd lost touch with His love, and it showed. They questioned His justice, withheld His due, depreciated His service and, in these ways, shot themselves in the soul. But not without hope. Amazing. The Lord is coming to purify His people. He will establish justice. Yet never to be discounted, He's immutably patient, offering Himself to sinners in return for repentance---a faithfulness that looks beyond this world to the day that being faithful in all God's service now, trusting and treasuring through trial, will be forever vindicated.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Israel's wearying words (and the Lord's distinguishing ones). (2:17-3:15)
    • a: Where is the God of justice?
      b: How have we robbed Him?
      c: What does it profit to serve Him?
  2. God's Israel made visible, now and forevermore. (3:16-18)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Malachi 2:17-3:18. Compare with the texts given for our call to worship and intermediate reading above.
  2. With what have the people 'wearied' God? What reality of heart lay beneath words that weary the Lord? What is their first complaint, as the Lord knows and reveals it? How does the Lord respond to it? What, if they had their minds stayed on it, would hold them fast amid hard times? What promise and Person have they lost sight of? What does the Lord preach of Christ? How will the coming of Christ distinguish His people from the people?
  3. What incommunicable attribute does the Lord preach as foundational to the sinner's hope? Why would God's immutability or unchangeableness be grounds for the sinner's hope? What promise does God attach to His invitation in 3:6? How does He anticipate Israel responding to His mercy? What's the relationship between 'returning' and no longer 'robbing' God? What is it to rob God? Why might one rob God? How does God seek to counsel them out of their spiritual poverty?
  4. What is the third complaint (3:14)? Why do they consider serving the Lord an unprofitable thing? What are they after in serving Him? To count serving Him a vanity, what does one imply? See 1 Corinthians 15:58. Do we serve the Lord for worldly gains? Is He worth serving if, in His service, we lose all but Him?
  5. Having heard Malachi 1:1-3:15, how does God's Israel become 'visible'? If we hope to be distinguished with Christ at His return, are we thinking we can be indistinct from the world straight up to it? How will the Bride of Christ, God's holy nation, the Church, be distinct in this world? What, in the context of Malachi, does it look like to repent, fear God, and esteem His Name? Have we signed up? Have we put pen to paper? Are you not enlisted in His service? Well, is your name not written in the Lamb's book of life?
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