Searchlights from the Word by G. Campbell Morgan: Malachi

Helpful outline sermon suggestion from every chapter from the Book of Malachi

Gene Exod Levi Numb Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1Sam 2Sam 1Kin 2Kin 1Chr 2Chr Ezra Nehe Esth Job_ Psal Prov Eccl Song Isai Jere Lame Ezek Dani Hose Joel Amos Obad Jona Mica Nahu Haba Zeph Hagg Zech Mala Matt Mark Luke John Acts Roma 1Cor 2Cor Gala Ephe Phil Colo 1The 2The 1Tim 2Tim Titu Phle Hebr Jame 1Pet 2Pet 1Joh 2Joh 3Joh Jude Reve

The Book of Malachi - "Searchlights from the Word" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Chapter 1

I have loved you, saith the Lord.
Malachi 1:2

That is the keynote of the messages of the last of the prophets sent to the people of God until the herald of Messiah immediately preceded Him. The tense is not past in its intention, but continuous. If we treat it as past, we must recognize that it covers the whole of that past. There had been no falling off or failure in the Divine Love for His people. The declaration is all the more arresting when it is seen that the people had lost their love for Jehovah to such a degree that they questioned His love for them. They said: "Wherein hast Thou loved us?" Malachi exercised his ministry probably about a hundred years after Nehemiah's time. The people were established in the city, the Temple services were observed, and they were enjoying a good measure of material prosperity. But they were alienated from God in affection; their religious observances were formal; their morality was external, and in many ways was failing even so. This man was raised up, and sent by God, to recall them to the deeper things of their life, and all these were conditioned within the fact of the Divine Love; and only possible of realization by their consciousness of that Love, and response to it. The whole prophecy is true to this key note. The sensitiveness of the Divine heart is wonderfully revealed from first to last. Love speaks throughout. It is severe in its denunciation of sin; but it never abandons the loved ones. It argues with them, pleads with them, warns them, appeals to them; and it is all love, and always love, and that in spite of their coldness, pride, and lack of response. This is the unveiling of God with which the Old Testament ends.

Chapter 2

Ye have wearied the Lord with your words.
Malachi 2:17

These words occur at the close of the prophet's formal accusations of the nation for its response to the love of Jehovah. These accusations were against the priests (1:6-2:9); and against the people (2:10-16). The priests were corrupt. They had degraded their office by profanity, sacrilege, greed, and weariness; and so had misrepresented God to the people. The people were guilty of profaning their covenant with Jehovah by two sins; the first was that of contracting mixed marriages; and the second was that of divorcing their true wives. The inter-relation between a corrupt priesthood and a corrupt people was inevitable. They deepest note in their sin was that of their misinterpretation of God. That is the meaning of this charge, that they had wearied Jehovah with their words. They had a false view of His love; they said "Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of Jehovah." That was equivalent to saying, God is so good that He does not punish wickedness. They had a false view of His holiness; they said, "Where is the God of justice?" That was equivalent to saying, God is indifferent to these things, He does not govern or interfere. These are the words which weary God, because they are words revealing a false view of Himself, a failure to understand His love as to its nature and its processes. As we ponder these words we feel that in much modern teaching about God, there must be much that wearies Him. Yet thank God, His weariness has nothing in it of failure or fainting. It necessitates discipline, but such discipline is but a further method of His unceasing and unchanging love.

Chapter 3

I, the Lord, change not; therefore ye, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
Malachi 3:6

This chapter contains the prophet's annunciation concerning the coming of the Lord to His Temple, in the Messenger of the covenant. It constitutes an answer to the words which wearied God. They were saying, "Where is the God of judgment?" Here was the reply. Jehovah was not only still with them, watching over them; He was coming into manifestation; and to administration. He would purge the priest-hood, and judge the people righteously. In the midst of this great announcement these words occur. The hope of the sons of Jacob is in the unchangeable nature of Jehovah. That also is the only hope of humanity. If He changed in holiness, then the uttermost corruption of man would ensue, and that would mean the complete destruction of humanity. If He changed in love, then He might hand man over to this issue of his own sin. If He changed, then indeed the sons of Jacob, and the sons of men, would be consumed. But in this word we find our assurance. He changes not. He will make no terms with sin. He will not abandon man to his sin, but will provide a redemption for the sinners. Today, amid widespread corruption, and false philosophies, words which weary God, we may rest assured that He remains unchanged, the God of unsullied holiness and undeviating righteousness; the God of unfailing love, and unconquered grace. This is the secret of our songs, and the inspiration of our service.

Chapter 4

... Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Malachi 4:6

So ends the prophecy of Malachi; and so closes the Old Testament. In reading this prophetic portion the rabbis never end with these words, but go back and repeat the words found in verse 5, ending so. With the same object of ending, not with the word curse, the Septuagint places verse four after verses five and six. This desire to escape the impression of the word curse is understandable, but it is a revelation of a literalism which was wholly false. The last word is curse, but the last thought is not. The emphasis is on the word Lest. This suggests a way of escape from the curse. The curse is something to be prevented. It would fall if something were not done. That is the truth revealed in all the Law, the Prophets, the Writings. How then may it be prevented? The question drives us back to what has preceded the word "Lest." What is it? The promise of an action of Jehovah, by which the hearts of the people shall be changed. If the condition of escape from the curse had depended upon some action of man, we might despair. But it does not, save as the action of God will produce a change in the heart of man. Beyond the Old Testament we have the New; and there we find the fulfilment of the Divine promise, and all that it involved. For beyond the messenger preparing the way (Elijah - that is, John), the Messenger of the Covenant (the Messiah - Jesus) came. True, He was rejected; but His day is coming yet, a day of burning and of sunrise; and yet again before it, Elijah will come to the people of God. God's final word is never curse, but blessing.