Summary: Ways God does not change
Malachi 3 - Our Unchanging God - 10/30/16
Turn with me this morning to the book of Malachi, chapter 3. If you have trouble knowing where to turn, Malachi is the last book of the OT, the first part of the bible. So a simple way to find Malachi is to turn to the gospel of Matthew, chapter 1 - Matthew, Mark, Luke, John - most of us can find the gospels pretty easily - and then go left about 2 or 3 pages, and you’ll be in the book of Malachi.
We have seen that this book is written by a prophet named Malachi. Most books in the bible either have the name of the author or the name of the people the book is written to. In this case, it is the name of the author, Malachi. His name means “my messenger” - and he was God’s messenger to the Jews about 100 years after they returned back to their homeland after 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
God took the Jews away from their home because of their rampant idol worship and flagrant disobedience. And as they return to their homeland, they don’t return to idol worship, but their actions still are not pleasing God. Malachi’s message in this book is to “Turn around, you’re going the wrong way!”
We saw in chapter 1 that Malachi reminds the people of God’s love. Many times it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. But Malachi condemns their half-hearted attempts to worship God with their “leftovers.” They saved the best for themselves and then gave God the leftovers. In chapter 2, we see that the priests were no better than the people, because their viewed their ministry as drudgery they had to endure. They were just going through the motions; they lost the heart and the passion of worship.
Today, we come to chapter 3. Read Malachi 3:1-6 PRAY
I intentionally stopped at verse 6, because that is where I want to start today. It says, “I the Lord do not change.” It’s one of the foundational truths of scripture. Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. The $10 word that theologians use is God’s “immutability.” And as we look at chapter 3 today, God’s unchanging nature is going to be a “hook” to use to get a grasp on this chapter. Today we are going to see three things about God that do not change. The first thing that does not change is
1. God’s Passion for Purity - and we see this in the first 7 verses. Purity is a good thing. Think about the water you drink: you don’t want little black specks floating around in your water. Just ask the people of Flint. They want clear, pure water. And they get pretty worked up to get pure water. Constant features on the national news circuit because their water was not pure.
Well, God gets pretty excited about purity too. Especially in our worship and in the obedience to God’s word. He is working to get his chosen people, the Jews, to return to a pure, obedient lifestyle. He says in verse 7, Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. And here in the first few verses, we see the WAY God is going to get them to return.
Back in Malachi 2:17 the Jews asked a question: “Where is the God of justice?” Now the only problem with that is that they weren’t asking WHERE God was at, but rather they were asking God to SHOW UP and set things right. Because there were a lot of things going on that were not right. And in answer to that request, here in verse 1, God promises to Send His Messenger! God is going to come and set things right. He says His messenger will come first and prepare the way for Him. In ancient times before a King would arrive, his servants would prepare the road before him---fill up the potholes, level out the bumps in the road. He’d prepare the people to welcome the King properly. And then the Lord Himself will come.
We know from studying the NT, that these verses about the messenger, the forerunner, refer to John the Baptist. In Matthew 11, Jesus points out John the Baptsit and says, This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.
And then following John, the main attraction, God Himself comes to the people, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. But there is a surprise for the people. We see their