Summary: 2nd Sunday of End Time(A) - Honor the Lord’s name in believing hearts and with faithful lives.
HONOR THE LORD’S NAME
MALACHI 2:1-10 - November 7, 2004 - 2nd Sunday of End time/Last Judgment
1"And now this admonition is for you, O priests. 2If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.
3"Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4And you will know that I have sent you this admo-nition so that my covenant with Levi may continue," says the LORD Almighty. 5"My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
7"For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek in-struction--because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. 8But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi," says the LORD Almighty. 9"So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law."
10Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?
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Dearest Fellow Redeemed and blessed Saints in the Lord:
Today we are going to be reminded to study the word honor. So we might ask ourselves what is honor? There are different definitions and different synonyms. To our minds we might probably think first of all about the First Commandment. This commandment says we are to fear, love and trust in God above all things. This is what our Lord wants as we honor God’s name. Believers are to respect and re-vere the name of the Lord because of what he has done for us. It is a serious matter. Even the Lord him-self says: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols””(ISAIAH 42:8). Isaiah was reminding the people, as he reminds us today, that the Lord’s name--The Lord Almighty--as we heard it a number of times in our text, is the Lord God of the heavens and earth. Our Lord does not want his praise or his honor to go to anyone else. Today in these words in the book of Malachi this prophet reminds us to HONOR THE LORD’S NAME.
Followers of God do this: I. in believing hearts and II. with faithful lives.
I. IN BELIEVING HEARTS
The historical setting: The children of Israel had come back from their Babylonian captivity. They were delivered back to Jerusalem, which lay before them in rubble. This was a different captivity from the Egyptian captivity. The Babylonian captivity came years after the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. This came after the Lord had brought them to the Promised Land. During those years in the Promised Land, God’s children had forgotten the Lord God. The kingdom of Israel had split. The north-ern kingdom of Israel was utterly defeated. There were no survivors left. The tribes in the northern king-dom were scattered to the ends of the earth. The southern kingdom of Judah was taken away to Babylon. Then we have the prophets of Daniel, Ezekiel who spoke to them. And now they are back in Jerusalem.
In today’s text the Prophet Malachi reminds them why they left; why the Lord’s justice came upon them. “And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi is reminding them once again to listen. He is reminding them once again to honor the name of the Lord in their hearts. This is the word of the Lord almighty. They have already experienced what the Lord does in his justice. He shows mercy, but he also shows judgment. Malachi writes: I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. And I’m sure they looked around and saw Jerusalem destroyed. I am sure they looked around and saw the temple torn down and they realized the Lord had indeed cursed their blessings. That Promised Land was not looking so promised anymore. He says: Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.