Monday, May 17, 2010

Some Notes on My Study of Malachi

Malachi was written 460 to 430 B.C. to the Jews, the people of God, who were tired of waiting for God's promises that Haggai and Zechariah had predicted. They felt God had let them down, but rather than complain they went through the motions of worship and were not giving God all that He deserved.

1. The Jews had become ungrateful to God and were not responding according to the ways they had been blessed by Him.

2. They were careless in their worship, cutting corners, and not taking care of His worship places. They went about it all haphazardly, with no heart.

3. God is our Father and Master, and He is to be honored and respected. Our Master. We are His children and servants. We must fear and honor Him. We must fear His contempt for our disrespect and our lack of fear of Him. We pollute worship by coming ill-prepared and not interested in or even anxious to hear what He has for us. Our hearts and spirits are not prepared to be ministered to. And when we are reproved, we laugh and deny the accusation. We partake in the worship as if it is not important, and we profane God in our empty hearts and with our lack of response.

4. We find other things to do, or allow distractions rather than being faithful in worship attendance. We find excuses to stay away and forget the sacrifice Christ made for us. We won't sacrifice even a little for Him.

5. Malachi's message was also to the priests who had decided that their pay was only for certain tasks; anything more required more pay.

6. The priests were doing their work with bad attitudes and begrudgingly, and also the people---worshipping begrudgingly, only because they felt they had to, a duty; not really caring.

7. They were holding back some of their tithes; not giving God all that was His. They kept it for themselves. God said they were stealing from Him and it was defiling their worship. God was offended by the cheating on Him, desecrated His Holiness by falling in love with those that did not worship Him, but other gods.

8. They filled the place of worship with whining and complaining because they didn't get what they wanted from God. They accepted sin and sinners rather that point out the sin and strive for purity within.

9. In the worship were liars, adulterers, sorcerers, those who use people and exploit their workers, take advantage of widows and orphans, were not welcoming to the homeless, and they didn't honor God.

10. They expected God to shower them with His blessings while they gave Him little in return.