Summary: God loves his covenant with his people, and believers are called to reflect this in the covenant of marriage.
God loves his covenant with his people, and believers are called to reflect this in the covenant of marriage.
• Today as we continue with our series from the book of Malachi, Fresh Faith.
• God is trying to reach His people who have lost hope, become apathetic, and are going through the motions of their “faith.”
• The religious leaders are leading the charge as the nation was falling apart spiritually.
• When a nation falls apart spiritually, eventually, the very fabric of society will begin to rip apart.
• The people of Israel struggled to survive in their homeland after returning from exile in Babylon.
• As a result, families in general and marriages, in particular, began to feel the tension.
• In the midst of this situation, many men began marrying foreign women and adopting their practices of worship, forsaking the God of Israel.
• God makes clear that marriage is a holy and binding covenant that reflects his nature and glory, not a temporal arrangement for personal convenience (George A. Buttrick, “Malachi,” in The Interpreter’s Bible Commentary, vol. 6, ed. Nolan B. Harmon [Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1956], 1135).
• Marriage is a covenant that is instituted by God as a picture of his promise to love, protect, and provide for his people—his bride.
• However, in the time of Malachi, God’s people were casually entering into marriages that did not honor or reflect the purity God intended.
• In addition, many were abandoning their marriages in pursuit of personal gain or convenience (v. 14).
• Malachi sharply points out their faithlessness to their spouse, which was ultimately a reflection of their faithlessness to God.
• One way we show our love for God is by faithfully loving our spouse in the same way that God loves his people.
• Biblical marriage is not merely a contract between two people, but a covenant between a husband, a wife, and God.
• The message from Malachi may not be one of the most comfortable for us to hear today for a couple of reasons.
• One, society has developed such a casual view of marriage and family.
• Second, many of us here today have been hit with this issue, many times of no fault of your own.
• The message God gave to the nation of Israel is still applicable to us today. I can give you tons of data to show this is true.
• The family unit is under attack, and when the family is destroyed, it hurts all of society.
• The Pew Research Center gives us a glimpse of how bad things are getting.
• In 1960, just 5% of all births occurred outside of marriage. By 1970, this share had doubled to 11%, and by 2000 fully one-third of births occurred to unmarried women.
• Non-marital births continued to rise until the mid-2000s when the share of births to unmarried women stabilized at around 40%. The family structure has been altered as a result.
• In 1960, the height of the post-World War II baby boom, there was one dominant family form.
• At that time, 73% of all children were living in a family with two married parents in their first marriage.
• By 1980, 61% of children were living in this type of family, and today less than half (46%) are.
• These changes have been driven in part by the fact that Americans today are exiting marriage at higher rates than in the past.
• Now, about two-thirds (67%) of people younger than 50 who had ever married are still in their first marriage. In comparison, that share was 83% in 1960. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/17/1-the-american-family-today/
• Our BIG IDEA for today is simple. God loves his covenant with his people, and believers are called to reflect this in the covenant of marriage.
• Let’s begin by turning to Malachi 1:10-12.
Malachi 2:10-12 (CSB)
10Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?
11Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable act has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the Lord ’s sanctuary, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.
12May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this, whoever he may be, even if he presents an offering to the Lord of Armies.
Enjoying a fresh promise requires one to…
1. I. Build a fresh foundation.
• Verse 10 begins with three questions; the first two are rhetorical. Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us?
• Of course, the expected answer is YES to both of the questions.