Summary: Part 3 of the series in the Book of Malachi.
Prophecy To Our Age
The Fathers Attitude
Introduction: (Chapter1:1-2) Malachi was sent to the people with God’s all consuming power; the love of God. This is God’s burden for his people of every age, he addresses the condition of the people’s hearts from the love he has for them. In chapter3:10-12, God challenges the people, appealing to them, calling to them out of his love. These two sections of scripture parallel each other, the first is the burden of God through Malachi and the second is God’s direct appeal to his people.
The whole reason behind this portion of scripture is the condition of the people’s hearts. The people were completely satisfied with their lives, and yet God lays on some heavy charges of infidelity. This is why God has plenty to say to these people. It reminds me of the hearings of President Bill Clinton before the Federal Court asking the court to define everything under the sun, pleading his innocence of wrong doing, even though caught red-handed in numerous situations. This is the state of these people; they are caught red-handed in many situations and are pleading innocent on all accounts.
A. God’s first reason for his appeal to the people (Chapter1:2).
1. God proclaims his love for the people. He is saying that his love is infinite and has infinitely been around for an eternity for this people.
2. God declares his love for the people, even though he finds them wanting, even though they have neglected their God and even though they have sin in their lives.
3. This is what burdens God and the reason that Malachi is sent with this message. God wishes them to know that because he loves them there will be a coming judgment. The true state of their heart has been found and the condition of their lives is revealed and it’s undesirable to Him.
4. God desires that his people honor him and have a fear for him, not because he has need of these but that he loves them with an everlasting love. We can never add significance to Him but He is glorified by us through our love for him. Not because our love has any significance but because he first loved us. God wants us to know his will and purpose and we do that through honoring him and having a fear of him. We have nothing outside of his will and purpose for him.
5. Does God willingly want to punish his creation? No! Because he loves us, he corrects and rebukes us out of his love for our own good. His correction of us is manifested out of his eternal everlasting love for us. We can never totally understand this godly love because we are finite and he is infinite.
6. Nevertheless, God loves this people. Throughout their history they have been in rebellion and he patiently has watched and cared for them and at times corrected them. Never forget God has been with this stubborn people and they have grieved his spirit and this has been a burden to his love.
7. This is why their attitude to God has changed God’s attitude to them. He still loves them and wants them to know his mind through the words given to Malachi.
God is giving them eternal truth by proclaiming his love toward them. People over the years haven’t clearly understood this message of love but the truth remains that every messenger, preacher and prophet is called of God.
B. God has made his complaint, he has heard their response and now he has appealed to them in this portion of scripture (chapter 3:10-12). Let’s note four things found in these verses:
1. First, there is the call: “bring all the tithes into the storehouse.”
a. When God made his covenant with these people, to receive his promises the people were given conditions concerning the covenant that they must fulfill. If they failed to fulfill the duties of the conditions, then the covenant was broken.
b. This is part of what we see in verse 10, God is asking that they bring in the “whole tithe.” God is not asking for a mathematical value but for their gift as recognition of their love for him. He is not just asking for ten percent of their first fruits as some sort of mechanical form of service. He is asking them to show their love for him with the gift they are offering.
c. He asks for ten percent as proof that they recognize his infinite love for them. The tithe is only as valuable as the recognition of their love. The tithe is the force that binds them to the Word of God, “I have loved you.” If the people forget that God loves them with an everlasting love, soon they will forget to bring in the tithe, and the only service that God requires is the service of love that responds to His love.