Saturday, December 10, 2016

153 - Questions and Answers


"Messanger of Jehovah".  He prophesied from 418-400 BCE.  His writings end at about the same time as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  

Earlier I wrote, Judging by how well the prophet's names suit their function or personality it is not believed that these were their given names.  Perhaps they are pseudonyms which they got because of their activities or lifestyle.  

The analogy of the headings of the other prophets favors the view that Malachi is a proper name.  Easton Bible dictionary.    Among the minor prophets, Malachi is the one exception to the rule about having a nickname. 

Malachi is a book of questions and answers.  It is written as though the Jews ask the questions and Jehovah answers.

1. The Jews ask: 
In what have You loved us?

Jehovah answers: Here is an example, Was not Esau Jacob's brother? ... yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau and made his mountains a desolation and gave you the land of milk and honey. Malachi 1:2-3.

2. In what way have we despised Your name?

Jehovah answers: You offer defiled bread upon My altar;  Consider this, all week long you cuss, swear and take My name in vain and then, on Sunday, you come and sing holy praises. 

If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.
 James 1:26. 

Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10.

3. In what way have we defiled You? 

Jehovah answers: In your saying, The table of Jehovah, it is a thing to be despised. And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?  When the Jews brought their sacrifices they were to bring only the best, not the blind; not the one with a broken leg; only the best.  When we give something to charity do we give only the broken or outdated and items that are no good?   As if our gifts to Jehovah can be something cheap.

Then Jehovah says, And if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil (Here the word evil can include displeasing, Strong H7451)

Then, sarcastically, he adds:  Bring it now to your governor. Will he accept you?   Malachi 1:6-8. 

Not only in the realm of worship have you shortchanged me but there is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of Jehovah with tears, weeping, and groaning. You come to church with artificial remorse and weeping but I will not hear you.

4. Why?

Jehovah answers: Because I have been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your covenant wife. And did He not make you one? do not act treacherously with the wife of your youth. 2:13-15.

The one you promised to love forever, in sickness and in health, now, how are you treating her?  You have put the wife of your youth into a position where she may legally and morally divorce you I hate sending away; 2:16.  Sending away is the biblical way of saying "divorce".

Are you surprised that I am rejecting your pretended remorse and tears!

With the expression “wife of thy youth” the prophet appeals to the heart of the husband, pointing to the love of his youth with which the marriage had been entered into; ... “Yet she was thy companion, who shared thy joy and sorrow, and the wife of thy covenant, with whom thou didst make a covenant for life.” K&D.

You have wearied Jehovah with your (empty) words. Yet you say,

5.  In what have we wearied Him?

Jehovah answers: When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them;  There is far too much of this false theology in today's churches.  We hear it all the time, God loves everybody.   

This is what the psalmist saidJehovah ... hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5.
6. Where is the God of justice? 2:17.

Some, because they cannot see Him, insist that He does not exist. They ask: where is your God anyway? The way you live does not convince me that He is even real.

7. In what have we robbed You?

Jehovah answers: In the tithe and the offering! You are cursed with a curse; for you are robbing Me, the nation, all of it. Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house.  

It is important to notice here that the tithe is not for the purpose of feeding the preacher or to make sure the church has enough money to run its various entertainment programs.  The tithe is one-tenth of your crop or income, and it is to be used to feed the hungry.  

The tithe is to be brought into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house to feed the destitute.

If you, as a nation, will look after the poor, see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room. 3:8-10.

8. What have we spoken against You? 

Jehovah answers: You have said, It is vain to serve God; and, What profit is it that we have kept His charge?

Choose Your Eternal Future

Look into the future for you shall be Mine, ... for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him. 

Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him. 3:13-18.  

For behold, the day is coming, burning like a fire pot; and all the proud, and every doer of wickedness, shall be chaff. And the coming day will set them ablaze, ... which will not leave root or branches to them. 

But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and healing will be on His wings. 4:1-2.

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