Malachi 3:13 - 4:6

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Malachi 3

 

II. THE LORD’S COMPLAINT AGAINST ISRAEL (CONTINUED), 1:6 - 3:15

 

We have seen that the Israelites were guilty of offering unacceptable sacrifices to God, of unfaithfulness, of spiritually mixed marriages, of divorce, of impiety and impertinence, and of robbery.

 

As we move on, we see that they were also guilty of –

            H. ARROGANCE, 3:13-15

 

Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout [i.e. arrogant, obstinate, harsh] against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? [i.e. what have we said against You?]

 

Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain [i.e. useless, futile] to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his [i.e. God’s] ordinance [i.e. what do we gain by obeying His commands (or carrying out His requirements)], and that we have walked mournfully [i.e. have gone about mourning] before the LORD of hosts?

 

3:14 – (RSB) Some wrongly maintained that if material prosperity did not result, there was no point in serving the Lord.

 

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy [i.e. we call the arrogant blessed]; yea, they that work wickedness are set up [i.e. evildoers are raised up, evildoers are built up, evildoers prosper]; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered [i.e. those who test God escape (or get away with it)].

 

III.      The LORD’S Condemnation of the People, 3:16 - 4:6

 

            A.  The Ungodly People, 3:16-18

 

Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another [i.e. spoke to one another]: and the LORD hearkened [i.e. the LORD listened], and heard it, and a book [i.e. a scroll] of remembrance was written before him [i.e. before the LORD] for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon [i.e. who meditate upon, who esteem] his name.

 

3:16 – (RSB) Not all had defected, and God remembered their faithfulness to Him.

 

Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels [i.e. on the day that I make them My jewels]; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

 

3:17 – (RSB) my jewels. i.e., a special, valued treasure.

 

Malachi 3:18 Then shall ye [i.e. you Israelites] return, and discern [i.e. and distinguish] between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not [i.e. him who does not serve God].

Malachi 4

 

III.      THE LORD’S CONDEMNATION OF THE PEOPLE (CONTINUED), 3:16 - 4:6

 

            B.  THE NATURE OF THE LORD’S JUDGMENT, 4:1-6

 

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh [i.e. is coming], that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud [i.e. the arrogant], yea, and all that do wickedly [i.e. every evildoer], shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

 

4:1 – (RSB) the day. The Day of the Lord (Zeph. 1:14-18).

 

Zephaniah 1:14-1814 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly [i.e. and (is) coming quickly], even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. 18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

 

(BKC) The day of the Lord, which will be like a fire to the wicked, will in contrast be like sunshine to God’s people.

 

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall [i.e. like well-fed calves, they will skip about like calves which are released from their stalls after having been penned up].

 

4:2 – (RSB) Sun of righteousness. An impersonal reference to the display of righteousness throughout the entire earth (as the sun sends its rays everywhere) in the coming millennial kingdom.

 

(BKC) Though many commentators have taken the words the sun of righteousness to refer to Christ, the phrase seems to refer to the day of the Lord in general. In the kingdom, righteousness will pervade like the sun.

 

(BKC) Healing (. . . health or restoration) in its wings (or rays) refers to the restorative powers of righteousness, which are like the healthful rays of the sun. God’s people will be spiritually restored and renewed.

 

(BKC) The figure of calves enjoying open pasture after being cooped up in a pen (stall) expresses the future satisfaction and joy of the righteous.

 

Malachi 4:3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

(BKC) This the answer to the cynical question asked by the unfaithful Israelites, “What do we gain by carrying out His requirements?”

 

The righteous will prevail over the wicked.

 

Malachi 4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb [i.e. in Sinai] for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

 

(BKC) In light of Malachi’s insistence on obedience, the meaning of remember seems to be . . . “Recall it to mind and do it!”

 

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

 

Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come [i.e. so that I not come] and smite [i.e. strike] the earth with a curse.

 

Matthew 17:10-1210 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

 

Matthew 17:11-12 – (RSB) The sequence of thought is as follows: (1) Elijah is coming as the restorer (Mal. 4:5); (2) he came, unrecognized, in the person of John the Baptist, and was killed; (3) the Son of Man faces a like fate. The disciples seem to grasp only the first two points.

Scriptures
Series

This sermon is the 4th part of the series, Study of Malachi. Other sermons in this series are: