They were robbing God! When one deliberately robs his God and Creator, will he then be faithful to his wife? When one has already violated the highest obligation that the soul knows, will he then avoid swearing a lie, defrauding a neighbor, or swindling a sojourner out of his rights? Let a man honor his duties to God first, for only God is able to convince him of the sanctity of any lesser duty. An illustration: This writer once performed the wedding ceremony for a lovely couple.
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The groom was a devoted Christian, faithful in every way. His bride was not religious, and she deliberately set out to change his religious life.
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Seven years afterward, and a number of years after her husband had drifted completely away from the church, that worldly little woman came desperately seeking help for the preservation of her marriage. Her husband had taken up with one of the girls at the office! She was patiently listened to and then told as tenderly as possible:. Why should he be faithful to you, when he is not faithful to his God? Bring him back to Jesus; and then, but not before then, something might be done to save your home.
It is not a light thing when one of the Christian partners stops attending church. The wreck of the top of the structure of man's moral life will, in the process of time, usually be communicated downward, ultimately destroying all honor, virtue, and morality. It is indicative of the end of relationship with God. It is that which followed the final and judicial hardening visited by God upon incorrigible sinners. See under Malachi , above. The oil flowed as long as there was a vessel in which to place it; but when no other vessel remained, the oil ceased.
How limited indeed are the capacities of men to receive the blessings of God! Since they do not appreciate anything except material prosperity, that also would be revealed to them as a blessing from God and from God only. Let them return to God, and he would bestow upon them material prosperity. The question of God's giving material blessings to Christians in the present times is also related to what is revealed here.
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Although, the blessings of the New Testament include primarily the spiritual and holy blessings of a renewed fellowship with God, material blessings are also positively included. And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work" 2 Corinthians ,8. This is a summary of promises of blessing, showing that God's blessing would include everything necessary for a wholesome and happy environment of the people of God, provided only, that they would respond to his love by obeying his commandments, honoring his name, and giving to him their praise, thanksgiving and offerings as he had commanded them.
Isaiah has a description of such times:.
By no imaginative accommodation may such promises be applied to fleshly Israel in the land of Palestine. What is surely in view here is the righteousness and peace of the new covenant people who will come to the foreground in the New Testament. The certainty of this lies in this very passage from Isaiah which also contains the prophecy of the "new name," which can be none other than the name Christian Isaiah Yet ye say, What have we spoken against thee?
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In response to the charge of speaking against God, the people make their usual denial, professing an innocence which they are too wicked to merit, but their wickedness is not apparent to those whose minds have been darkened and whose hearts have been hardened.
Very well, Malachi will spell it out for them in the next line of the prophecy. This is the age-old problem of the prosperity of the wicked contrasted with the struggles and tribulations of the righteous. Psalms 73 addresses the same problem. The saints of all ages have confronted it and have been perplexed by it. There is only one answer; and it is the same in the Psalm, or in Malachi, or always.
And considered their latter end" Psalms However, the Word of God teaches that there is a judgment of Almighty God, upon which occasion the wicked will be punished and the righteous rewarded. The child of faith should therefore be established and grounded in the conviction that the Father will surely see to it that he receives all, and far more, than he could deserve, and that, "Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink, because ye are Christ's, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" Mark The reason many today fall into the same evil attitude as that here rebuked by Malachi lies in the fact that the New Testament doctrine of the eternal judgment has been soft pedaled, or even eliminated from the perverted theology of our times.
The doctrine of the judgment is one of the fundamentals of Christianity Hebrews ; and, without it, there is no answer at all to such problems as this one. There is also another phase of the problem, as cited by Jamieson: "The Jews mistook utterly the nature of God's service, converting it into a mercenary bargain. They attended to outward observances, not from love of God, but in the hope of being well paid for it in outward prosperity. Whether or not the Jews were sincere in observing such unauthorized fasts, is immaterial.
The point is, they were trusting in their own devices, instead of returning to God. The "proud" mentioned here, or "arrogant," are not the heathen but the godless Israelites who have cast off all restraints of holy religion and were living like the pagans which they in heart had become. Malachi will answer their objections.
http://soilstones.com/wp-content/2020-07-09/1335.php In the next three verses Malachi :. They will then realize fully the distinction that God makes between the godly and the ungodly. In that day, the wicked will be wholly consumed, like stubble in the flames, whereas the righteous will rejoice exceedingly and will triumph gloriously over their enemies.
Christians should not trouble themselves about the justice of God. God Himself is keeping the records; he knows them that are his; their eternal felicity is assured; God hears their prayers; God will reward them gloriously. It was true of ancient Israel, and it is true today. Men who forsake the fellowship of the church are unquestionably on the way to eternal shame. The human soul needs the support, fellowship, and encouragement of "the communion of the saints," all of which are abundantly available to the Christian in the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper, ordained of God to supply these basic pre-conditions of fidelity.
God does not need a literal book, or anyone to write in it. The thought here is quite similar to that in passages which mention the "book of Life. Compare Philippians ; Revelation Of the very greatest importance is the glimpse afforded in this passage of that "righteous remnant," so often mentioned in the Old Testament. In the midst of the wicked nation, there were those who "waited for the kingdom of God" Mark There were a few Israelites indeed, true sons of Abraham, who were without guile John , and a few whom Jesus Christ himself identified as "sons of Abraham" Luke No one knows how large this minority was at any given time; but the truth of its existence is clearly given.
This priceless verse in Malachi gives the secret of maintaining faith and confidence in a time of widespread wickedness:. Coals separated soon go out. In the background of such a prophecy as this, and in many other such promises in the Old Testament, there is the haunting fear of that "day," that terrible day that shall conclude the course of men on earth.
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A proper understanding of God's promise to "spare them" must be read against the universal consciousness of Doomsday that flies like a banner over both the Old Testament and the New Testament. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the prognosis for man's future upon earth, as provided by the philosophies of infidels and unbelievers, invariably carries this pathetic threat.
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Bertrand Russell, for example, stated that the future of man on earth was no more promising than that of the pterodactyl or the brontosaurus. The world around us indeed seems to be rushing headlong forward on a collision course with disaster. Particularly, the last great prophecy delivered to mankind, the Book of Revelation, is a sevenfold description of the end of the present order and the founding of a new one. The assignment of the true follower of God in Christ is exactly that of the saints of old who waited patiently for the kingdom. True, the kingdom for us has come; but the ultimate execution of the wrath and judgment of God upon human wickedness has not yet occurred.
And amid the howls and shrieks of unregenerated men who scoff at such things, let the true Christian remember that "In your patience ye shall possess your souls" Luke The wheat and the chaff, the good and the bad, the right hand and the left, the keepers and the rejects, the wheat and the tares, the wise and the foolish there are many examples. Gasque gave the meaning here as: "Therefore, it does make sense to serve God even in a day when it seems that the majority have forsaken him.
Jesus strictly advocated the same principle:. All other rights reserved. Bibliography Information Coffman, James Burton. Sign out. Not a member?
Color Scheme. Bible Tools Search. Interlinear Search. Lexicon Search Greek Hebrew Aramaic. Writings Search. Before Christ Edersheim Flavius Josephus more. Illustrations Search. The Quotation Archive Add a Quotation. Parallel Search. And therefore, if there were any right to a recompence for Abraham's love, Esau had it, and yet I hated Esau and loved Jacob.
Let them see what a difference God had made between Jacob and Esau. Esau was Jacob's brother, his twin-brother: "Yet I loved Jacob and I hated Esau, that is, took Jacob into covenant, and entailed the blessing on him and his, but refused and rejected Esau.
Jacob is loved, for he has these, Esau hated, for he has not. The apostle quotes this Rom. Esau was justly hated, but Jacob freely loved; even so, Father, because it seemed good in thy eyes, and it is not for us to ask why or wherefore.
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