Summary: In 515 BC, after 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the people who were still in Babylon were released.Although they had their land, national identity restored, They realized they weren’t the nation they once were and they got discouraged.
12-Part Malachi Series: A Shining Glimmer of Hope at the End of an Age
Introduction: A Nation at Sunset (1 of 12)
June 2, 2013 Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker Chester FBC
A In 587 BC, Babylon had destroyed Solomon’s Great Temple & took the nation of Israel into captivity to Babylon.
1 In 538 BC, Cyrus (leader in Babylon) allowed some of the Hebrew captives to return to Israel to rebuild their temple, Jerusalem.
a 50,000 took Cyrus up on his offer and returned to Israel to start the work of recapturing the nations former glory.
b In 515 BC, after much delay, the Temple was rebuilt.
aa With a rebuilt Temple, Priesthood reestablished, sacrifice had once again resumed.
bb Appointed times had once again been observed (Feasts.)
2 In 515 BC, after 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the people who were still in Babylon were released & repatriated to Israel.
a Came expecting/anticipating the former glory, power, prestige of being God’s chosen people to return.
aa Although they had their land, national identity restored, Temple they were far from the their former state of blessing they had enjoyed previously as God’s Chosen People.
bb They realized they weren’t the nation they once were and they got discouraged.
b In 458 BC, Ezra visited Jerusalem & in 445 BC, Nehemiah becomes the Governor of Judah.
aa By this time, the optimism they had at being repatriated had turned to skepticism (Skeptical of the love of God, decrees of God, Worship of God, Service to God.)
bb Their faith had turned to apathy (laziness)
cc Their national fervor/patriotism had turned to indifference.
B Israel was pass her zenith & moving towards judgement.
1 The nation was at a spiritual low.
a The Temple priests were careless; the people doubted God.
b There was a tremendous immigration problem as the Israelites intermarried with foreigners (diluted their national culture & polluted their faith with the beliefs/practices of other religions.)
aa There was no dedication to family, marriage, raising children to being obedient to YHWH.
bb Adultery/Divorce/ sorcery was rampant.
cc Fields didn’t produce= faltering economy.
2 Israel’s sins were not just against God, but also their fellow man.
a Oppression of (injustice to) the poor.
aa Fraud/Perjury was commonplace.
bb Corruption in the government at practically every level.
b Israel desperately needed a word from God ... so He sent them a messenger, Malachi, My Messenger, (Probably around 430 BC), who wanted the same things for the nation that God wanted!
aa A righteous nation, a pure/devoted priesthood.
bb Happy homes, devoted children.
cc A people characterized by truth, integrity, generosity, gratitude, fidelity, love & hope.
c We do not know about Malachi’s ancestry, pedigree, qualifications, call or personal life.
aa The most important thing about messengers is the message they bring.
bb Not who they are, where they come from, but the message.
C The similarities to ancient Israel and modern America are striking, and hopefully, are not lost to you at this hour.
1 The Spiritual river that runs through our nation is 20 miles wide but only about 3-inches deep.
a We have seen a great falling away from God & His Church.
aa What gets passed off as preaching in many places is nothing more than a Dr. Phil lecture with a verse or two from Scripture added on.
bb Leadership & laity alike have abandoned the cause of Christ to take a path of least resistance.
cc God is moving in South America, Africa, Asia, parts of Europe . . . but the West has yet to receive significant amounts of latter-day rain.
dd Military (Chaplins, SBC Website unaccessible)
*Fox News reported in April: The U.S. Military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Conventions website on an unknown number of military bases because it contains hostile content — just weeks after an Army briefing labeled Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics as examples of religious extremism,
*Military Chaplains are being discouraged from praying in Jesus name, ministering in His name, evangelizing.
b The family & marriage are no longer sacred institutions in America.
aa Partially due in part to its redefinition by the homosexual agenda.
*The ruckus of same-sex marriage, according to the homosexual community is to have same the same legal benefits of heterosexual marriages. In 2011, civil unions for same-sex couples was legalized giving gay couples the same legal standing as traditional marriage.
*Only .45% of the gay population in Illinois sought civil unions in it’s first year and less than that during the second year!
*So why the necisity of “same-sex” marriage? Redefine what a family is, marriage is . . . normalize gay behavior.
bb Partially due to the disposal view of marriage taken by many heterosexual couples.
c Where do I start with corruption in the U.S. Government?