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Summary: 50 years have passed since Israel had returned from Babylonian exile.Walls repaired, Temple rebuilt, nation restored. Nation was hurting and needing a fresh word from God. They had forgotten their first love.

“A Shining Glimmer of Hope at the End of The Age Series”

Malachi Expository 12-Part Series

“Forgotten Love” Malachi 1.2-5

2 of 12

June 30, 2013 Chester FBC Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker

Introduction

A Malachi 1:2-5 (NASB)

2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 3 but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." 4 Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever." 5 Your eyes will see this and you will say, "The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"

1 50 years have passed since Israel had returned from Babylonian exile.

a Walls repaired, Temple rebuilt, nation restored.

b Nation was hurting and needing a fresh word from God.

aa God sent Malachi with a final word before a 400 year silence.

bb 400 years from the writing of Malachi’s prophetic word the world would hear John the Baptist & see Jesus the Nazarene.

2 We need a fresh word today!

B Israel had forgotten that God loved them and in turn had stopped loving God.

1 Is there anything more heartbreaking than unrequited love (love not returned?)

a The nation had no king, her priests were corrupt.

b What was God’s last word to the nation before a 400 year silence? “I love you.”

2 Let’s look at how Israel’s lack of love towards God can help us double down/ go all in with our love towards Him.

I Show Your Love While You Can.

A For centuries the Jewish people had recited “Shema” (Deut. 6.4-5) as part of their daily prayers. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”

1 Israel had got to the point that they questioned God’s love for them and why should they love a God whose love they doubted?

2 Malachi exposes the nakedness of Israel’s forgotten love for God in the text, “How hast Thou loved us?” (1.2)

a Maybe they were ignorant of His love: (They just didn’t know God loved them.)

aa Their economy, families, priesthood, nation were all in the toilet - - - if God loves us He sure has a weird way of showing it!

bb It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “If God loved us there wouldn’t be tornados, 9/11, financial crisis, starving kids, divorce, custody, heart attack, lost my spouse.”

cc Problems/adversity/tragedy/loss are not signs that God doesn’t love us!

b Maybe it was ingratitude to His love: (They knew of God’s goodness but failed to be thankful.)

aa Israel, in spite of their sins, was still operating in God’s favor.

bb When compared to Edom, whose lands had been ravaged/lost, Israel was doing pretty good.

cc They could still be captivity, wall stills down, Temple unbuilt . . . God had been blessing them, yet they questioned God’s love with ungrateful hearts.

dd In spite of all of our problems (health, finances, relationally) we all have something to be thankful to God for!

c Perhaps they were indifferent to His love: (I don’t care if God loves me or not.)

aa Their love for YHWH had waxed cold.

bb In Rev. 2.4, Jesus mentions the sins of seven churches in Asia Minor with the Church of Ephesus being first at bat.

Revelation 2:4 (NASB)

4 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

cc He didn’t address bad theology, bad giving, bad attitude, bad behavior first . . . Jesus address “love” first!

dd Why love first? Lack of love for God is the source for all other sin!

B Thomas Carlyle & his wife had been married for decades but he never fully appreciated, reciprocated, or appreciated his wife’s love for him until she passed away.

1 He wrote, “Oh, that I had but five minutes to tell you all . . .”

a He didn’t awaken to how much his wife loved him until it was too late to respond to it.

b We won’t always have the ones we love around to tell them how much we love, appreciate, respect, grateful we are to them! Do it now while we can.

2 It’s sadly easy for us to grow ungrateful, indifferent to the love our God & Savior, Jesus Christ.

a What have you done for me lately? Blessed me today?

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