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Summary: Malachi #4

Keep Faith!

Malachi 2:10-16

After breaking up with his fiancée, a young man realized the error of his ways when he wrote: “Dearest Marie, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you! Yours forever, Jimmy…

P.S. And congratulations on winning the lottery.”

I’m not sure how sincere this guy was about getting back together, but he was probably ready to restore their broken relationship at any cost. That reminds me of a young man who was proposing to his girlfriend. He had the ring in his hand and said: “Sweetheart, I love you so much, I want you to marry me. I don’t have a car like Johnny Green. I don’t have a yacht like him or a house as big as his. I don’t have the money of Johnny Green but I love you with all my heart.” She looked into his eyes and said, “I love you too, sweetheart…but could you tell me more about Johnny Green?”

It’s amazing how easily we can lose focus in our relationships, isn’t it? This morning, as we come to Malachi 2:10-16, we’re going to see that our relationships with others, with God, and with our spouse, all have the potential to disintegrate if we’re not careful.

It struck me last week when I was preaching through a very descriptive, and even revolting passage, that if you did not have a Bible in front of you, you could have wondered why I was talking about some pretty gross stuff that contributes to our fatal flaws. However, if you had your Bible, you could have followed along and seen for yourself what happens when people dishonor God.

Let me encourage you again to bring your Bible to church each week and read along in the passage as I go through it. I want to invite you to take notes, underline key words, or whatever else helps you become an active part of this process as we go through the book of Malachi. Let’s be learners together in this mysterious process of how God takes His living Word and speaks directly into our lives. I hope you have your Bibles open to Malachi 2:10-16...

This morning, I want to begin by pointing out a phrase that is repeated five times in our passage. I want you to notice in this passage the phrase “breaking faith” or “broken faith.”

It occurs in vv. 10, 11, 13, 15, 16

In order to get a better idea of what this term means, let’s look at some different translations. In the King James and New American Standard, we read, “deal treacherously.” The New Living Translation puts it this way: “faithless.” The Amplified Bible combines the two: “deal faithlessly and treacherously.”

It has the idea of pillaging something that was supposed to be protected and is tied very closely to another word that is used in this section. It’s the word “covenant” in verse 10 and verse 14.

A covenant was a solemn and binding mutual agreement between two parties. An oath was made and it was formally ratified by an external act. This is similar to what the Old Testament means by “shalom.” All relationships – with others, with God, and with our spouses, are to be held together by a compulsory keeping of covenant that encompasses the entire community of faith.

To tie into last week, because the priests had dealt treacherously with God, they were causing many others to falter in their faith: “But 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” (2:8). There are three ways that God’s people had broken faith in their relationships. Let me give them to you both positively and negatively. I want to acknowledge my thanks to John Piper for some keen insight into this passage and for unlocking the outline for me:

1. Keep faith with others: Don’t allow your relationships to rupture (10)

2. Keep faith with God: Don’t unite with an unbeliever (11-12)

3. Keep faith with your spouse: Don’t get divorced (13-16)

1. Keep faith with others: Don’t allow your relationships to rupture (10)

Look at verse 10...

While Abraham was their earthly “father,” Malachi is really focusing their attention on God as their heavenly Father.

Isaiah 64:8: “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

As believers we are in the same family because we have the same Father. As such, we must keep faith with one another.

The word “profane” means “to wound” or “dissolve.”

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