Summary: Like a prosecuting attorney, God levels accusations against the nation of Israel.
The Accused People
1. It gives us great satisfaction when someone gets caught cheating. Bonnie Jones shares this story:
"I was in the express lane at the store quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart and asked sweetly, ’So which six items would you like to buy?’"
2. But it is not so funny when we are called on the carpet.
Main Idea: Like a prosecuting attorney, God levels accusations against the nation of Israel.
I. God States His CASE (1-17)
A. He Accuses the RELIGIOUS LEADERS (1-9)
1. This does not mean that all the leaders had major issues, but too many did.
Priests and Levites
2. "Life and peace," "reverence," "true instruction," and "uprightness"
3. As the Levites of old, like Phineas:
Numbers 25:1-13 (you can read these verses when you get home)
4. The priests in Malachi’s time were supposed to teach and model the law, but instead they were corrupt
5. This gave rise to the Rabbinic and Pharisaical movement under Ezra….Non-priests became Israel’s teachers…
6. How was this prophecy of God punishing the priests fulfilled? Collectively, as God’s wrath built through the centuries until finally in 70AD, almost 500 years later, the Temple was destroyed…
7. Much like God’s dispossessing the Canaanites (Genesis 15:16b)
B. He Accuses Those Who Have Married PAGAN Wives (10-12)
1. Deuteronomy 22:10 "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together."
2. 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…"
3. I Corinthians 7:39, "A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord."
C. He Accuses Those Who Divorced Their Wives for Younger WOMEN (13-16)
1. How we treat our spouse has spiritual ramifications for us; you can cry all you want before God (14), but if you continue with an unrepentant heart, He will not hear you!
2. I Peter 3:7, " Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
3. Psalm 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…"
Central Focus: Repent (10-17)
Some people love to whine about their problems, but they really do not want them solved or corrected…Example: wife of an alcholic wants her husband to give up the bottle… but sometimes, not really; it excuses her from being the wife she should be; marriages often break up…
Because of this insincerity on a human level, some people do not think God really wants people to repent and change --they think it is just God gripe…
4. "Did He not make one?"
5. God took one rib from Adam…
6. Divorce allowed and regulated, but (somebody’s) sin is always at its root
D. He Accuses Those Who Have Become NEGATIVE Toward God (17)