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ch. 2:1-9  ch. 2:10-16   ch. 2:17 to 3:5

Abomination For Priest (ch. 2:1 - 9)    


Verse 1 says that the following “abomination” is for the priests of Israel.  The priests had abominated the temple worship and now God is going to abominate the priests in judgment.


In verse 2 God says that if the priests don’t “listen” to what He has to say, and “if they don’t set their hearts” to honour God’s name then God will bring judgment to them.  Note here there are two things the priests need to do.  The first is “to listen” to what God is now telling them, but listening is not enough.  As James so often says in the New Testament, “faith without works is dead”.  Listening without works is useless. 


God wants these priests to honour “His name”.  The way in which they are to honour the name of God is important.  They must honour God from their hearts.  It must be with heart felt conviction, and not simply out of routine and tradition.  Routine and tradition is what they’ve been doing all along, and that has not satisfied God in the least.                  


The problem that was taking place back then, and is also present in parts of the church today is that when people serve God out of routine and tradition, and from a spirit of hypocrisy, those people misrepresent God to those around them.  People seeing these Jewish priest, and people seeing many Christians today, begin to have the wrong impression of who God is because of our behaviour.  God is far from happy with this.   


The last part of verse 2 tells us what God will do if these priests don’t listen and honour His name from their hearts.  God says that He will both curse the priests and their offerings.  It’s not just that God will reject their offerings, or even reject them.  He will go one step further and curse both their offerings and the priests.  Once again, if God can do this to Old Testament Israel, He can do it to the New Testament church, and to nations as well.  The domination of Rome over the Jews in subsequent years might well have been part of this curse, which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D.


You will also note in verse two that God “will curse the priest’s blessings”. This means that as the priests blessed God’s people for good, God would turn that blessing into a curse. Then God goes on to say that in fact He’s done that already.  That which was meant to be for good from the priests, ends up being bad, all due to God cursing the blessings of the priests


Verse 3 continues to show us how God felt about His wayward people.  He says that He will cut their descendents off, that is, cut them off from the family of God. We often see the term “cut off” in the Old Testament. It usually refers to being cut off from God’s chosen people.  In john 15 Jesus uses the same phraseology when He speaks of His followers not abiding in Him.  He says that He will cut them off from the vine.  He compares Christians to branches on a vine, and if the branches don’t receive the nutrition from the vine, they will be cut off, thrown into the fire and burned.


The rest of verse 3 is sickeningly descriptive.  God says that He “will spread the offal from their animal sacrifices on their faces and will they will be carried off with it”.   The word “offal” can be referred to any kind of waste product.  Dung would be an example.  Leftovers from the burned animal sacrifices could be an example.  So what God is saying here is that anything left over from the butchering of animals for sacrifices will be spread on the faces of the Jews, and they, with these filthy faces will be carried away and burned and buried with the waste of these animals.   That does not paint a very good picture of the fate on wayward Israel.  You have to think about this.  This is God speaking to His people.  This is the loving and just God , who is the God of the Bible, the God of all true believers in Jesus.   Most people today do not view God in such a light.


God says that at this point Israel will know that He has made a covenant with Levi.  Most scholars suggest that the covenant spoken of here is the Mosaic Covenant.  The sons of Levi were the priests of the tabernacle.  Levi thus represents the Law of Moses in a generic sense.


When God cuts Israel off from being His people, they then will remember the covenant God made with their fore fathers. They will remember that God is the only true God Almighty.  Some suggest that this is prophetic of end time Israel when as Paul says in Romans 9 through 11, “all Israel will be saved”.  This means that Israel at the end of this age will return to their God.


In verse 5 God states that His covenant that He gave Levi, or in fact Israel, was “a covenant of life and peace’.  Within the covenant were the blessings and curses.  If Israel obeyed God, then they would be blessed.  If they didn’t, the would be curses.  God is now talking to Israel about being on the verge of being cursed.


The last half of verse 5 tells us one reason why God gave the Law.  It was to bring Israel to a place of reverence before God.  And God says that Levi did revere his God.  The problem with Israel at this point in their history is that they no longer reverenced their God as they were supposed to. This lack of reverence, led to their disobedience, which led to them being cut off from the family of God.  But once again, as Paul states in Rom. 9 through 11, God is able to graft them back into the tree, the family tree, the family of God, and that He will do at the end of this age.


Also in verse 5 God said that Levi showed “awe” for the name of God.  Levi reverenced the name of God by representing God properly before His fellow Jews, and before the world.  God takes great pride in His name because it speaks to who He is. When we do not properly represent God as we should, His name, who He is, gets distorted and the world does not see a proper representation of Him.  Once again, it is clear.  How God felt against Old Testament Israel, He can feel against the New Testament church.  A quick reading of what Jesus told the seven churches in Revelation certainly points that out.


In verse 6 God speaks very highly of Levi.  He says that “true instructions were in his mouth”.  This means that Levi properly instructed the people to serve God as they should.  He spoke and taught what was written in Scripture.  He did not teach or speak from his own thinking. 


God continues to say that “nothing false was on his lips”.  Levi was not a hypocrite.  He did not say one thing and do another.  What he said was true and accurate.  His words and life was one of integrity. 


The last part of verse 6 says that Levi walked with God.  Of course this is figuratively speaking. This means that as Levi lived his life, He included God in all that He did.  He lived in such a way that He obeyed God in all things that would bring glory and honour to God’s name, not his name.  Because Levi walked with God, his walk was one of “peace and uprightness” says God, something that is always the case for those who walk with God.  Peace is fundamental in a godly life, even in the midst of trials and troubles.


The last phrase in verse 6 says that Levi led many away from their sin.  This too is the life of a godly person.  He or she will lead people away from their sin because they will be an example of someone not walking in overt sin. 


What God is doing here is contrasting Levi, one of Israel ’s forefathers, with themselves.  They were just he opposite to Levi, and the Jews took great pride in their ancestors.   This reminds me of the discussion Jesus had with the Jews in John 7 and 8. The Pharisees went to great lengths telling Jesus that they were special men because Abraham was their father.  The fact of the matter is that Jesus cared less about their claim to being Abraham’s children.  That didn’t mean anything to Jesus because the Jews weren’t following in Abraham’s faith.  They were being hypocritical saying that Abraham was their father but not reverencing him as they should by following in his footsteps.  Jesus went as far to say that Abraham was not really their real father.  The devil was their father because the devil was the one they were emulating, not Abraham.


In verse 7 God continues to speak to the failures of the priest, those who were to lead Israel on behalf of God.  God says that from the lips of the priest knowledge should be preserved and from their mouths people should receive instruction.  Obviously this was not the case.  Priests weren’t speaking knowledge and therefore it could not be preserved, and therefore, the people could not depend on the priests for instruction. 


This is often the case in today’s world of church as well.  So often preachers preach what they feel is right, and much of that is not Biblically based, is not from our Lord.   One of the main jobs of a godly leader is to preserve godly knowledge and dispense it to those they are responsible to care for.


The last phrase in verse 7 says, “because he is the messenger of God”.   The treasure-house of knowledge should be found in the priest, and in our Christian leaders today because they are God’s messengers.  This was even more so in Old Testament days.   In New Testament times we have the Holy Spirit to teach us and to tell us what is right and what is wrong.  Old Testament people did not have the Spirit of God living within them.  This means that we will be judged more severely than those God is speaking to through Malachi, and what He says through Malachi sounds pretty serious and severe.


In verse 8 God says two things about the priests of Israel. He says that they have forsaken the ways of God and have turned to their own ways.  The second thing is that the priests had violated God’s covenant. 


The mere fact that second rate animals were being sacrifice was one example of a violation of God’s Law, or God’s covenant.


Especially in more liberal churches today, we see leadership forsaking the ways of Biblical truth.  We are not under the Old Covenant, but we are under the New Covenant, and this covenant is being violated today with a gospel of works, with the laying aside of what the cross is all about, and most of all, laying aside the Deity of Christ, which is fundamental to the New Covenant.


In verse 9, because of the priests violation of the covenant God says that He has humiliated the priest before all people.  The priests who were to be highly respected by men and women would become respected by very few.  This too can be seen in many parts of the church today.  Christian ministers once were well respected men but because of some of these men’s way of living, they have lost much of their respect.


The last part of verse 9 tells us another reason why the priests would lose respect.  They violated the Law of Moses by “showing partiality  in matters of the Law”.  This means that some laws they obeyed, and others they didn’t.  They chose what were important to them, and those they felt not important they found ways to get around them without disobeying them, but in reality, they disobeyed them in their hearts, and that is where it matters.


Many Christians today do the same as the priest in Malachi’s day.  They pick and chose what parts of Scripture they feel important. The liberal church will attempt to follow certain moral teachings of Jesus, but won’t believe in His claim to Deity. 


Judah Unfaithful  (ch. 2:10 – 16)


In verse 10 we have a bit of a departure in writing style.  Whereas prior to this point Malachi writes as if God were speaking.  He now writes as if he were speaking on behalf of God.


Here in verse 10 Malachi asks two questions. They are, “have we not all one father”, and, “did not one God create us”?


The question speaks to the core of Israel’s existence.  They have one God and Father.  The word “Father” refers to God. 


Malachi then asks that if they do in fact have one God and one father, why do they profane the covenant of their fathers by “breaking faith with one another”.  The term “breaking faith” means “breaking trust”.  The foundation of Israel was based on a oneness that was based on trust.  One God create one nation, and that nation was to trust the God who created them.  When Israel broke trusting relations with one another, they were breaking the covenant God set out for them.  The breaking of God’s covenant then caused the separation between Israel and their God. 


Malachi equates breaking up of trusting relationships between people with breaking of the relationship these very people have with God.   In other words, when one breaks trust with another, they break trust with God.  This is so because God is fully trusting. That’s just part of His nature.  Then we are to trust Him with our lives, just as Israel was supposed to do back then. The natural thing to do next would be to trust one another as an extension of trusting God.  The whole matter of trust originates with God, and when we break trust, we’re breaking something that is part of God. 


Malachi goes on to speak of a specific relationship here, but there’s a general principle to be recognized.  Any relationship that has been put together by God, based on trust, if that relationship is broken, then that affects the relationship that those people have with God.


I’ve seen this to be true in Christian marriages.  When one partner leaves the other, for the most part, the leaving partner has first left Jesus before he actually leaves his spouse.  It is this marriage relationship that Malachi is about to address, but I believe the same principle applies to relationships within the church today.  

Malachi 2:10 to 14 in the NIV states that Israel "profaned" the covenant they agreed to with their God by "breaking faith".  The KJV says that Israel "profaned" the covenant by acting "treacherously".  


The Hebrew word "chalal" is translated into English as "profane".  It means "to pierce, or, to rip up", as in "rip up a covenant.  So, by "breaking faith", or, "acting treacherously", Israel basically ripped up the covenant that she and Yahweh agreed to. 


The Hebrew word "bagad" is translated in the NIV as "broke faith" and in the KJV as "treacherously".  "Bagad", in this context, means "to cover up", as in hiding something.  Thus "bagad" means to "act covertly, to defraud, or, to hide something from someone".  It's acting hypocritically; appearing to live one way but actually secretly living another way.  


God tells us how Israel was ripping up the covenant by breaking faith.  They were being hypocritical to one another.  They were desecrating the sanctuary of the Lord.  Men were divorcing their wives to marry pagan women.  In general terms, they were doing detestable things.               


Verse 11 says that “ Judah has broken faith”.  When saying “Judah” we can take this to mean Israel as well.  At this particular time Judah was Israel in one real since of the word.  By now the ten tribes to the north of Jerusalem had disappeared.  This we can also see in the next phrase when it says that a “detestable thing has been committed in Israel”.  Here we see the words Judah and Israel used interchangeably. 


What was detestable to God was the fact the men in Israel were marrying women of “foreign gods”, something that was against the  Law of Moses.  I don’t believe that the problem was one of God being discriminatory.  These women did not worship the one true God of the universe.  They worshipped false gods, demonic gods.  How can the two mix.  They can’t.  The problem was twofold.  One is that these men were disobeying God’s Law, and two they were mixing their religious activity with that of another religion.  The same applies today.  Christians should not merry a non-Christian.  The two just don’t mix.  If you have given your life to Jesus and want to follow Him in His ways, how can you be united with someone who does not want to do the same.  The two worlds just don’t mix.


Another thought concerning this mixture concerns the church today.  In many respects we have married the church to worldly philosophies and practices.  The church looks more like a business in the corporate world than it does a New Testament church in many respects.  We should not have this mixture, and I’m sure God feels the same way about our mixture as He did back in Malachi’s day with Israel.


In verse 12 we see the just nature of God, something that has little to do with modern day tolerance thinking.  God says that those men who have married women of foreign gods will be “ cut off from the tents of Jacob”.  What I believe this means is that God cuts these men out of the people of God.  This is exactly the terminology that Jesus uses in John 15 when He says that He will cut those people out of the vine who refuse to remain in Him.  Those men, both in Malachi’s day and in our day, who do not follow in the footsteps of the one and only true God, will not be a part of His people.


In the last phrase of verse 12 we note that these men may well continue to bring their offerings into the temple for worship, but they mean nothing to God.  The bringing of these offerings may make the men feel good, but they do nothing in the eyes of God, and they will not benefit the men who bring them.  These offerings are a complete waste of time. 


The question can be asked of Christians today.  How much of what we do in the name of church, which we claim is in the name of Jesus, is done in the same way s these men in Malachi’s day?  I’m convinced that many things that many people do in church these days mean nothing to God.  They may benefit us in some ways, but not in our relationship with our God.


Those church organizations that have forsaken Biblical truth, or other church organizations who are so traditional that the presence of Jesus can’t be found spend much of their time for naught. 


In verse 13 we see something else God is unhappy with concerning His people.  Apparently they come to the altar of God with tears and with weeping, anguishing over the fact that God does not appear to be with them. They cry out and ask for God’s presence.  The problem is that their tears don’t match their way of living.  They appear spiritual at the temple but carnal once they leave.


We learn something here.  It doesn’t matter what we do in church, or back in those days, in the temple, if we are not living right.  The number one thing that Jesus got upset over was religious hypocrisy.  This is what is being spoken of here in Malachi.  God does not like the hypocrite, something that these Jews were.


We therefore cannot expect God to do for us what we think He should when we are not living according to His will.  We may go through all of the motions, but once again, God may turn His back and ignore us.


In verse 14 we have God’s expected answer by these Jewish men.  They ask “why”?  They ask God “why have you forsaken us”?  God has no other choice but to forsake the religious hypocrite in his sin.  This is what took place on the cross with Jesus.  God had no other choice but to turn His back on Jesus since He was so full of our sinfulness. 


God answers these Jewish men by telling them that He was standing as “a witness between these men and the wives of their youth”.  These men would have married in their youth, younger than most people marry today.  At some point later on they divorced the wives of their youth to find another wife, but this wife was not even Jewish.  These women were pagans.


It would have been bad enough that these men divorced their wives and remarried someone else, but to remarry a pagan, that’s double bad.


Notice the words this verse ends with.  They are, “the wife of your marriage covenant”.   Marriage was seen as an everlasting covenant in those days.  It was not seen as an agreement that could be broken, at least in the eyes of God.  These men had entered into a covenantal relationship with the wives of their youth, but they broke that covenant.


Just to be clear.  I have been using the plural form of the word men and wives.  I’m not suggesting that these men had more than one wife, even though some of them might have had more than one wife.  They were certainly not allowed to have more than one wife. 


The question is asked in verse 15, “has not the Lord made them both one”?  This is a clear reference to creation when God made man and woman in marriage they would be “one”.  Jesus repeats this though in His discourse In Matt. 19 on divorce when He uses these words to say that Moses allowed for divorce but divorce was not part of God’s original intention for men and women at creation. 


The next phrase helps clarify the question.  It says, “in flesh and in spirit they are one”.  This is very interesting to me.  I think most people consider the oneness of marriage spoken of as being purely physical, but that is clearly not the case according to these words.  This oneness is also spiritual.  It is my thinking that intimacy within marriage is more than physical, but spiritual. You’ve often heard the phrase “kiss and make up” after a couple have a fight.  Well, in the kissing and in the making up process a joining of spirits take place.  Two spirits are joined that breaks down walls.  This is why the physical union between a husband and wife is so important.


Another thought concerning this spiritual union is that there is a spiritual element to mankind, and this element should be seen in marriage. 


Another question is now asked. “Why one”?   The answer is that God was seeking godly offspring.  The physical and spiritual union between a husband and his wife would produce an offspring that was meant to be godly.  That was God’s intent.  Divorce tends to destroy the possibility of godly offspring because the children do not see,  neither do they experience godly faithfulness and trust.  This results in them having no trust and faith as well.


In the last part of verse 15 God says to “guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth”.  God first says “guard your spirit”.  It is deep within a man, or a woman as well, where the seeds of mistrust and adultery begin.  God tells us over and over again in Scripture to guard our hearts.  Our hearts are where we feel, where we think, where we decide, and if we don’t guard this part of who we are, being frail as we are, we will stray. 


God clearly tells us not to break faith with the wife of our youth.  The “breaking of faith” is the problem here.  God is faithful.  Faithfulness and trustworthiness is basic to the very nature of who God is.  The breaking of trust in any kind of relationship goes against the very nature of who God is.  This is why God says “I hate divorce” in verse 16.


There’s another thing that is mentioned in verse 16 that God hates, and that is when a “man covers himself with violence”. Another rendering of the word “himself” is the word “wife’.  This statement seems to suggest some kind of violence the man has taken against the wife of his youth.  God hates that. 


I’m not sure, but the reference to a “garment” in the next phrase might suggest the husband covering the scars of the violence he has done to his wife. 


This section ends with the command, “so guard you spirit, and do not break faith”.  Once again, it’s the guarding of our spirits that will save us from breaking faith, and will also save us from many other sins. 


Within Christian circles today, men and women are divorcing one another at alarming rates.  There is no real difference in the divorce rate between Christians and non-Christians.  Both groups divorce at pretty much the same rate.  We must know that God hates this and this is one reason why we don’t see the supernatural in the church today as it was seen in the book of Acts.  When God’s people fail to obey God, He will not attach His name and His miracles to church activity.   


Yet beyond divorce, God hates any kind of trust that has been broken.  A Christian should be true to his word because that is the very nature of the God they serve.  Therefore if we are breaking faith, and breaking trust as Christians, we can expect God to feel the same way towards us as He did towards these men of Israel. 


The Day Of Judgment (ch. 2:17 – 3:5)


Verse 17 says that the Jews “Have wearied the Lord with their words”.  The Jews at this point in their history were complainers.  They complained about God not helping them in the restoration of His temple and of His city.  They were like many people today who ask, “if there is a loving and caring God, why does He allow all the sufferings in the world?”  Israel would ask, “if we are God’s people, why isn’t He helping us?”


It is clear from verse 17 that God does not like this complaining and questioning of who He is and what He does.  Malachi says that God is weary of all these words.  God does get weary with His people, and if He got weary back then, He probably gets weary today.


The second part of verse 17 is Israel ’s answer to Malachi’s assertion that God is weary with their words.  They ask how this can be.  These people do not seem to know the state in which they are in.  As is with much of the church today, God’s people often do not see themselves as God sees them.  We go along in our own ways and have no clue how far away we are from God’s will.  I believe this is a perfect picture of the church today.


The last part of this verse tells us specifically how Israel is not walking as they should.  They claim that God likes those who do evil and blesses them.  They see this because they see the enemies of God being successful and all they do, much like God’s enemies and non believers are today. 


We often hear Christians having a hard time understanding how sinners do very well, while they don’t do so well.  Why are non-believers financially secure while they as Christians are falling behind.  There’s nothing new with this mentality.


The other thing that the Jews say that show how far they have strayed, and shows why God doesn’t hear their prayers is their complaint of God not being just.  They ask, “where is God’s justice”.  Simply put, if God is who He claims to be, that is, a God of justice, where is the justice in sinners succeeding while His people don’t succeed. 


The simple fact of the matter is that God holds His people to a higher standard than He does the rest of the world.  If we don’t rise to the level of where we should be, then we are judged by Him accordingly.


Chapter 3 verse 1 continues on from God’s side of the argument and is explicitly prophetic.   First of all God says through Malachi that He will “send His messenger who will prepare the way before me”.  Most scholars believe this messenger is John the Baptist.  The New Testament speaks of John being the one who would make straight the way for the Lord.  (John 1:23) 


Some might suggest that this is not John the Baptist because of what comes next.  John prepared Jesus’ way as seen in the New Testament.  He prepared the way for Jesus’ three year ministry, resulting in the cross.  But what comes next in Malachi does not appear to be the servant Jesus who once appeared on earth  The Jesus that seems to be portrayed next is the Lord Jesus who comes in judgment at the end of this age. 


Malachi says that “the Lord who you are seeking will come to His temple, the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire will come”.  Note here that the one who is coming is the one who Israel presently was seeking.  But the coming of that one is in a way that was not expected by the Jews.  They want God to come to them and help them succeed in restoring of the temple and the city of Jerusalem, but God was coming, but not in that way.


We may seek God, and He may come to us and answer us.  But His coming and His answers may not be as we expect or even want.


The term “messenger of the covenant” is used in verse 1.  This is a direct phrase relating to Jesus.  He is the One who has brought the New Covenant to the world, and some say brought the Old Covenant to the world as well.  We need to note here that even though there is an old and new covenant, the new should be understood in light of the old and an extension of the old in one sense of the word.


Verse 2 says that “who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears”?   This has to be in reference to Jesus’ second coming because men and women alike were able to stand before Him in His first coming. 


So the question is asked, “why does Malachi speak of John the Baptist in reference to Jesus’ second coming when it appears that John made straight the path for Jesus’ first coming.  It is only my thinking at present, but John the Baptists work of making the Messiah’s path straight had more far reaching implication.  Because He made Jesus’ path a little straighter, it led to Jesus’ three year ministry, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and then, His return. John the Baptist’s work included the return of Christ.


Beyond this, I believe that John the Baptist himself was prophetic of another John the Baptist like figure at the end of this age which Malachi names as Elijah in chapter 4.  This Elijah will prepare the way for the Lord’s second coming.


Whatever the case, most commentators believe it is John the Baptist that is being spoken of here.


Verse 2 is a perfect picture of what it will be like when Jesus returns.  No one will be able to stand in His presence.  Everyone will fall to their knees as Paul says and confess that Jesus is Lord, and that means, Lord of all things.  You see Jesus’ return in the book of Revelation and it is one majestic point in time.


The last part of verse 2 compares Jesus to a refiner’s fire and a launderers soap.  When Jesus returns, He will clean the world of all sin.  This is the great Judgment Day to come.  Satan and those who follow him will be cast into the Lake of Fire in eternal judgment as seen in the book of Revelation.


In verse 3 we see the refiner who purifies.  This is a continuation of the same thought from verse 2.  Malachi specifically says that the Levites will be the one who will be purified.  The question that should be asked here is this, “does the Levites get purified at the return of Christ, or at some point prior”.  For the Futurist who believe the book of Revelation is to be fulfilled in the future, that is, the last seven years of this age, they would say that this purification takes place during those last seven years.  The last seven years of this age is called the Great Tribulation.  It’s also called “Jacob’s trials”.  Futurists believe that the Great Tribulation, although effecting the whole world, is first and foremost meant to be judgment upon Israel .  Futurists therefore say that verse 3 here in Malachi is speaking of the days of the Great Tribulation.  Verse 3 is about God purifying, not only the Levites as stated in the verse, but all of Israel.  Levites here is symbolic of Israel.


In verse 4 we see the purifying is over.  Malachi says that at this point acceptable offerings will be made in Judah and Jerusalem.  This presents another question.  For the Futurist, once the Great Tribulation is over and Jesus returns, there will be a one thousand year period of peace while Jesus rules over the earth.  Some Futurists believe that there will be a temple in Jerusalem where pure sacrifices will be made.  The question arises, “what kind of sacrifices are being made here?”  The argument can be made that they are animal and grain sacrifices because the context has been using the word “sacrifice” in that way.  Yet it might be possible that from God’s perspective “pure sacrifices” might well be a more New Testament style sacrifice. That means our service to God and our praise and worship to Him without physical sacrifices might well be what God is talking about here.


Non Futurists have a hard time with the idea of the Jews making sacrifices during those thousand years.  They say that the cross has done away with all such things.  The Futurist replies to this with the idea that the sacrifices are not for the forgiveness of sins, but a memorial for the forgiveness Jesus purchased on the cross. 


Once the thousand years is up, the devil will be released for a short time and then Jesus will throw him and his followers into the Lake of Fire forever.  The New Jerusalem will come to earth.  There will be no temple and no sacrifices.  Jesus, the Lamb of God will be in Jerusalem and in the midst of His people.  There will be no need for a temple or for animal sacrifices.


If the Futurists are right, the thousand years might all be about Christians and Jews living as they were meant to live.  The Jews will live as they were meant to live in Old Testament times with the understanding of looking back because of the cross.  Christians will live as they were to live during the New Testament age. 


In verse 5 God says that He “will come near to Israel in judgment”.   As Christians we often think of God coming near us in times of revival and in times with more of a positive outcome.  This is not the case in this situation.  God, in Jesus will come to Israel in judgment, and if He comes to Israel, He can come to the church as well in judgment.


God also says that “He will be quick to testify against” those who are wicked in Israel. The picture is of a court room where God is the main witness at that great final Judgment Day.  He is both judge and witness. 


Also in verse 5 Malachi gives a list of wicked men that God will testify against.  They include sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, those who deprive workers of proper wages, those who oppose widows and the fatherless, and those who deprive aliens of justice.   Beyond these sinful people there was one other group of people, and this is the most important.  God would testify against those who “did not fear Him”. 


You will note similar lists in the New Testament.  I believe that the reason why these men are the wicked men in the above list is because they first did not fear God.  That is to say, an adulterer is an adulterer because he does not fear God.  A perjurer is a perjurer because he does not fear God.  This lack of fear and lack of reverence ends with a lack of trust in God, and for this reason men become the sinners they are that are listed above.  Sinners will not burn in the Lake of Fire because they are sinners, but because they did not fear God and trust Him. 

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