Summary: Malachi - The Final Prophet (part 6) Godly Insight for Today
✎ Proverbs offer wisdom; however wisdom is often gained through experience, and experience takes time. Have you ever wondered how some common proverbs might be thought of by children?
> Children should be seen and. . . not spanked or grounded.
> Better safe than. . . punch a fifth grader.
> A penny saved is. . . not much money.
> Strike while the. . . bug is close.
> Don¡¯t bite the hand that. . . is dirty.
A child’s answer will make perfect sense to him or her. Furthermore a child may have a hard time understanding the lesson taught within many proverbs. Wisdom is more often caught than taught; experience and not explanation is the real teacher of life’s lessons.
How often is our great wisdom like a child’s compared to the wisdom of God? We think we have life figured out; it all makes sense to us. That’s when the unexpected happens and our neat and tidy world is turned upside down.
God has a better idea and wants to work His purpose out in our lives. We struggle to understand, but we just can’t see the answer. We put periods and question marks where God puts a comma. We want to keep moving, but God says stop. Sounds like a child doesn’t it. Our best ideas don’t measure up to God’s timeless wisdom.
Malachi "the Final Prophet" offers us Godly insight for today. Although his message is nearly 2,500 years old, it still applies to our lives today. The times have changed since Malachi’s day, but our questions are still the same, and God’s answers have not changed either.
+ Malachi 3:1-4 1See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty. 2But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years. (NIV)
GOD WANTS TO TRANSFORM OUR LIVES.
God has a solution for our confusion¨Ctransformation and renewal. God wants us to grow up spiritually.
In our childish wisdom we ask God to change our circumstances, while God wants to use our problems to change us. We won’t find real happiness and joy in people, places or possessions; lasting peace is not just the absence of problems.
You could wake up tomorrow morning and God could change it all. Your family could be perfect; you could be living in the house you always wanted, you could have a new job. Everything is just the way you wanted it to be, but you would still be miserable because you haven’t changed.
+ 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (NIV)
God could do something about the people, places and possessions in our life; He could even fix all our problems, but we still wouldn’t have wisdom. God doesn’t just want to fix the external; He wants to transform us from the inside out.
+ Romans 12:2 . . . let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (NLT)
It’s time for us to grow up¨Cto move beyond the superficial into the supernatural. God wants to bring about a spiritual transformation within our lives; He wants to renew us.
How does the transformation of our lives happen? Malachi shows us 5 steps to being changed. 5 steps to letting God help us to grow up spiritually and put childish things behind us, to be transformed into a new person by changing the way [we] think.
1. TRANSFORMATION IS A WORK OF GOD’S GRACE.
+ Malachi 3:1 See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty.
You may be wondering, "How is Malachi showing us God’s grace? I don¡¯t even find the word ’grace’ in that verse!"
In Malachi 2:17 the people ask, "Where is the God of justice?" Although they didn’t expect an answer, God responds by telling His people "I’M COMING!"
We saw last week that justice comes from the same root word in Hebrew as judgment. When the people ask at the end of chapter 2, "Where is the God of justice," God answers five verses later, "I will come near to your for judgement." The God of justice is the God of judgment; however, before God comes with judgement He will come with grace!