You left My Decrees, nor regarded My Laws from the times of your fathers. (A. J. The action it should prompt. Also, Christians cannot always distinguish between personal needs and personal wants.Again, we have replacement theology. 5. Men set up a false happiness in their carnal estate. Grain, fruit,cattle, and sheep were tithable (Leviticus 27: 30-33). The Israelites had strayed far from thecommandments of God. Observe--. If, in any Christian Church, people have become self-confident, neglectful of ancient rules, scorning attention to moral duties, yet all the while exulting in unreal feelings and fancies, as tokens of the Divine favour--when such symptoms of corruption show themselves, it is a great mercy if our good God, by any chastisements, warns us of our danger, and of the necessity of returning to Him whilst yet we may. The fathers of our flesh never cease to long for their prodigal child’s return; and their patient persistence of hope is but brief and broken when contrasted with the infinite long-suffering of the Father of spirits. JUDGE: As presiding judge, I must tell those of you on the jury that these are weighty charges. He is robbing God of the soul, with all its faculties. God soliciteth their return unto him here by a precept and a promise, two effectual arguments, if anything will work; and ratifieth all with his own authority, which is most authentic, in these words, "saith the Lord of hosts." To rob a Being so high and sacred; and whose glory so enhances the offence! "But you say, `How shall we return? 3. The man who is living without religion, that man is committing a wholesale robbery upon God. All other rights reserved. The halves are mirrored around a central point, so the prophet's ideas cycle through similar themes, forwards and backwards. Study Malachi 3:1-7 verse by verse. From Israel"s early history the people had deviated from the straight path that Yahweh had prescribed for them to walk in the Mosaic Covenant. This is one of those verses which show most clearly and graciously the forethought of our heavenly Teacher, in providing for us the Old Testament: (1) in that words spoken on a particular occasion to the Jews are made to convey a heavenly warning and message to Christians of all generations at all times; (2) in that Almighty God here, as in many other places, furnishes comfort and instruction beforehand to that bitterest of cares and doubts, the care and doubt which must hang over those who feel that they have grieved His Spirit, received in baptism, by wilful sin, and having been partakers of the heavenly gift, have fallen away and trodden Christ, His grace, His warnings, His example, under foot. A as if your crimes were not most notorious and shameful. לאך מלאך. Whatever our condition in life may be, self-denial in matters of disposition and temper is so essential to the Christian character that, if we have neglected it, we have indeed urgent need to return to the Lord in this respect without delay. 1. Who has not robbed God of the heart? Deists. from the. "Commentary on Malachi 3:7". The nature of the warninginfers that it also applied to future descendants. Can you say that no intelligent mind ever conceived and no skilful hand ever formed the leaf, the fruit, the rose of that picture? But let us look at the question in a larger sense, and see how we may be guilty of this terrible crime. IV. ‘How shall man be just with God?’ All the religions of the world, with their offerings and penances and weary toils, are vain attempts to make a way back to the God from whom men have wandered, and that question, ‘Wherein shall we return?’ is really the meaning of the world’s vain seeking and profitless effort. Faith is nothing without fruit, nor Gospel truth without Gospel holiness. Malachi 3:7 Parallel. 3. One is engaged in a factory, one in a machine-shop, one in an office, one on a farm, one is at school. This frame prevails where there is a transferring sin upon others. A call to reformation in this particular, and a promise of blessings in that event, (Mal 3:9–12.) Man, however, does not always employ his daring soul in the right way. A bad man becomes good by surrendering his all to God. God notices what returns our hearts make to the calls of his word. It suited the stout and stubborn genius of this people, who would not yield to anything that might infer their guilt. What will men do when fallen so low? (Homilist.) . This guilt is incurred by misapplying to other uses what is due to God. For it manifests--. The apostasy of Israel had begun almost from the very first and flourished unabated throughout pre-Christian and Christian history alike. - Their consciences were seared, and they knew not that they were sinners. How are we gone away from the Lord, as a nation, as a people? To the weak, afflicted, troubled, unfortunate; yea, to the erring and sinful. Our merciful Father offers checks and warnings when He sees any generally prevailing tendency to depart from Him. What duty arising out of this subject shall I prescribe? It is spiritually inviting. Can love and fear die out of the heart? Cast out the belief in eternal death, in perpetual penalty, in irreparable doom, and fear must vanish. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. Baked goods alsocould be burnt as offering (Leviticus 2: 1-10). 1905-1909. Can he be so irrational, so desperate? In religion, in morals, in everything concerning man, it is in the season of calm, and amid the quietude of apparent prosperity, that the foot is readiest to slip. Popery corrupts every thing in religion--raising up a rival to God in the pope, a rival to the Bible in tradition, a rival to the Saviour in priests, a rival to the Cross in the crucifix. "E.W. The ordinance of God has been that men should have certain things, on certain conditions, belonging to them severally, as their own. Robbing God is also permitting anything to have stronger power over us than His will. The case today is: “Malachi versus the People of God.” The charges: The plaintiff maintains that the defendant is guilty of robbing God. Yet it can be. Misused religious privileges . The Given Name Malachi. Have we a reverent and beautiful sense of God’s ownership, leading to the hallowing of all our thoughts, deeds, and possessions? ), “Harden not your hearts as your fathers did; in the righteousness of your fathers walk not.” (Psalms 95:8.). In previous sermons we have considered God’s indictment of man’s sin met by man’s plea of ‘not guilty,’ and God’s threatenings brushed aside by man’s question. I. Consider wherein God is robbed by His people. What other motive can you name when both these fail? Destroy the belief in the Almighty God as a Creator; with that vanishes the belief in Almighty God as a providence. One is, a very considerable proportion of thought concerning Him. Since this turning away had gone on for numerous generations, some of thosementioned probably were included. If all belongs to God, then comes in the liability to commit robbery against Him. But we have to look further, at the full breadth of the declared law of God: the comprehensive sum of His commands; a grand scheme of the dictates of the Divine will, placed peremptorily before us, and abiding there as permanently as our view of the purpose of the earth or the starry sky. The evil effects of wandering are purged away. And all nations shall call you happy; for you shall be a delightful land, says Yahweh ofhosts. The fat of any acceptableanimal was also forbidden for food (Leviticus 7: 22-27). God is said to return when He shows His face and favour, which sin has hid. Ought man to defraud God? https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/malachi-3.html. Malachi 3:8-10 KJV Misinterpretation: This passage is often used by many different Christians to prove the importance of tithing. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? God’s promises are encouraging. It is not so much individual acts of sin but the going away in heart and spirit from our Father God which describes the inmost essence of our true condition, and is itself the source of all our acts of sin. There should be conscientious care to form a right honest judgment of what is due, of what belongs to God. Dix, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, p. 286; Preacher's Monthly, vol. Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. Our wealth is not our own. Robbery means taking either by fraud or violence that which belongs to another, and appropriating it to our own use. these three human utterances but too truly represent for the most part our answers to Him. And I will return unto you; I will yet pardon, accept you, establish, and bless you; amend your ways and doings, and I will soon amend the state of your affairs. Men speak thus when they con fess some sins, but not the sin which God aims at. Law may be broken, either by omitting the good required or doing the evils for bidden. 1905. What is the connection betweenChristian tithes and offerings and those referred to in the Malachi passage? Apparently, the Israelites had thesetwo afflictions. It does not suppose anything meritorious in the obedience of the creature; nor yet that the blessings of grace are suspended upon the condition of duty. Still they put God to his proofs, as Jeremiah 2:35, and show themselves an unpersuadable and gainsaying people, Isaiah 65:2; and this had "been their manner from their youth," Jeremiah 22:21, when they were in Egypt, they served idols there, Ezekiel 16:26. Such words as floodgates, torrents, sluices,and windows of heaven suggest abnormal quantities. We rest in generals, in confessing sin before God. Malachi was passing a message to the children of Israel. But the question of our text has often a nobler origin, and comes from the depths of a troubled heart. Shall we not ask that Divine strength may be perfected in our weakness? Does this passage apply to Christians today? That passage reads, “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. An article in one of the papers a while ago spoke of “the degeneracy of wills.” In the olden time a man began, his will thus: “In the name of God, Amen.” But now we begin abruptly: This is the last will and testament. Such imagine there is no Creating-God; or if there be a God, that nobody can discover anything about Him; and that there is no God-revealed religion. God’s charge and call to a backsliding people. Return unto me - There is still space to repent. But you say, In what[way] shall we return? God’s anger is increased by mock returns. 2. that is, “What dost thou require from us? Although there are some differences,my using of these versions is to try to establish the intended meaning, not to show thedifferences. 4. “Turn thou to Me and I will return unto you,” is the Voice of God, acknowledging our free-will, and promising His favor, if we accept His grace in return. Thus it will come to be found, that in robbing God, men iniquitously and fatally rob themselves. "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". The nine hundred millions are not only squandered--they would better be cast into the sea than used as they now are to ruin the souls and bodies of men, to destroy families, and to plague the State. “Ye said, wherein shall we return?” It is not a serious question, but a cavil. Many people live as if there were no God. Wherein shall we return? A Divine complaint against sinners. But I will not multiply proofs, which very often are to be met with, and must be well known. . It is most common amongst those of the unsaved who are respectable, moral, and, after their own fashion, religious people. "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". (John Angel James. Return unto Me - The beginning of our return is from the preventing grace of God. ), Well, there can be no doubt that man will do some very daring deeds. How little we think, in general, of the society in which we are, or the nature of Divine service, when we come up to the temple of the Lord. The Septuagint indicates that He wasspeaking to the sons of Jacob. . ""How should we return?" 1832. Once again, the people of God had been faithless, breaking their covenant with the Lord. “I tremble for my country (said Thomas Jefferson) when I remember that God is just.” Nine hundred million dollars spent in one year for intoxicating liquors; five and a half millions for missions (not church-support) at home and abroad--that is, one hundred and sixty-four to one. This does not appertain to us; but it is not the only way in which the sin can be committed. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. Yet, says God, “Ye have robbed Me.” And the charge falls on those who are to be found in the house of God. The people, in effect, are saying, "What need do we have to return since we never turned away to begin with?"" But ye say, Wherein shall we return?". He robs God of himself. In tithesand offerings. Even from the days of your fathers: we need not fix a particular time or age wherein this apostacy began; it is an old apostacy that is here charged on them, and they were notoriously guilty of it. BibliographyNicoll, William R. "Commentary on Malachi 3:7". How well do Christians really know and understand the Bible, particularly the OldTestament? Introduction to the Meaning and Uses of Malachite. 3. We have departed from Him in will, having reared up puny inclinations and fleeting passions against His calm and eternal purpose, and so bringing about the shock of a collision as destructive to us as when a torpedo-boat crashes in the dark against a battleship, and, cut in two, sinks.
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