Spring Quarter

Lesson 5

March 29, 2020

{Unit 1I: God Promises a Just Kingdom

Title: “Justice for All”

(KJV) Malachi 2:1-9, 3:5-6

 

Key Verses: Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (KJV)

 

Analysis of the Biblical Text

 

A Stern Warning (Malachi 2:1-4)

KJV Malachi 2:1-4

1  And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

2  If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.

3  Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

4  And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

 

NIV

1 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 

2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me. 

3 “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants ; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 

4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD Almighty.

 

A Lesson in Contrasts (Malachi 2:5-9

KJV Malachi 2:5-9

5  My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

6  The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

7  For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

8  But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.

9  Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

 

NIV

5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 

6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. 

7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 

8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 

9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

 

Judgment and Restoration

KJV Malachi 3:5-6

5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.

6  For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

 

NIV

5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

6 “I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 

 

Citation: - MALACHI 2

 

Synopsis: - The priests reproved for neglecting their covenant.(1-9)

 

Text: -  Ver. 1-9 What is here said of the covenant of priesthood, is true of the covenant of grace made with all believers, as spiritual priests. It is a covenant of life and peace; it assures all believers of all happiness, both in this world and in that to come. It is an honour to God's servants to be employed as his messengers. The priest's lips should not keep knowledge from his people, but keep it for them. The people are all concerned to know the will of the Lord. We must not only consult the written word, but desire instruction and advice from God's messengers, in the affairs of our souls. Ministers must exert themselves to the utmost for the conversion of sinners; and even among those called Israelites, there are many to be turned from iniquity. Those ministers, and those only, are likely to turn men from sin, who preach sound doctrine, and live holy lives according to the Scripture. Many departed from this way; thus they misled the people. Such as walk with God in peace and righteousness, and turn others from sin, honour God; he will honour them, while those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.

 

Citation: - MALACHI 3

 

Synopsis: - The coming of Christ. (5-6)

 

Text: -  Ver. 5-6 The first words of this chapter seem an answer to the scoffers of those days. Here is a prophecy of the appearing of John the Baptist. He is Christ's harbinger. He shall prepare the way before him, by calling men to repentance. The Messiah had been long called, "He that should come," and now shortly he will come. He is the Messenger of the covenant. Those who seek Jesus, shall find pleasure in him, often when not looked for. The Lord Jesus, prepares the sinner's heart to be his temple, by the ministry of his word and the convictions of his Spirit, and he enters it as the Messenger of peace and consolation. No hypocrite or formalist can endure his doctrine, or stand before his tribunal. Christ came to distinguish men, to separate between the precious and the vile. He shall sit as a Refiner. Christ, by his gospel, shall purify and reform his church, and by his Spirit working with it, shall regenerate and cleanse souls. He will take away the dross found in them. He will separate their corruptions, which render their faculties worthless and useless. The believer needs not fear the fiery trial of afflictions and temptations, by which the Saviour refines his gold. He will take care it is not more intense or longer than is needful for his good; and this trial will end far otherwise than that of the wicked. Christ will, by interceding for them, make them accepted. Where no fear of God is, no good is to be expected. Evil pursues sinners. God is unchangeable. And though the sentence against evil works be not executed speedily, yet it will be executed; the Lord is as much an enemy to sin as ever. We may all apply this to ourselves. Because we have to do with a God that changes not, therefore it is that we are not consumed; because his compassions fail not.

 

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF MALACHI

 

  Malachi means "my messenger" (HSN4401).  Because nothing else is mentioned of him in the Old Testament and because of the meaning of the word, some scholars have thought that "Malachi" may have been just a pen name used by the prophet.  This possibility is mentioned in an ancient Jewish tradition.

 

  The prophecy was probably written in the period between 450 and 425 B.C. This was the time of Nehemiah, about 100 years after the first exiles had returned from Babylon.  The book reflects that era.

 

The Temple had been completed and sacrifices were being offered, but the priests were careless.  The people doubted God and were intermarrying outside Israel.  Judah was under a governor and Edom had been destroyed.

 

  The prophet's style is unique in the Old Testament.  He makes a statement and then asks a question growing out of that statement. In the answers to these questions Malachi sets forth the greater portion of his message.

 

  The enthusiasm that marked the Jews' return to Jerusalem a century earlier was gone.  They were discouraged.  There was a drought and the crops were bad.  They expected a golden age of prosperity, but it had not dawned.

 

Did not God care?  Malachi answered these doubts: God is still on His throne!  Look what He did to Edom.  God deals with sin.  Pay your tithes, obey Him, and see how He will bless you.  The Messiah is coming!  He will destroy the wicked and give victory to the righteous.  But before that day, the prophet Elijah must come ( = John the Baptist, Matt.17v10-13).