True Hope Mal.1:1-11 HCSB May 17, 2015

 

Introduction

       How can this lesson be titled, True Hope and speak of the actions of these people? Hope from God is certainly a matter of grace, and if God helps these people it will have to be by His grace. But do you know what? That is the story for all of us! We may think we are better, and may be, but we still are in need of grace.

In fact no one deserves by their merit the blessing of God. True hope in the text and today is completely a matter of grace.  

 

1.   True Hope . . Produces True Love. 1:1-5

       A.   True Love . . Declared By The Lord But Questioned By The People. 1:1-2

       1 An oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

       2 "I have loved you," says the Lord. But you ask: "How have You loved us?"

 

       B.   True Love . . Demonstrated by the Lord. 1:2b - 5

“. . . "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" This is the Lord's declaration. "Even so, I loved Jacob,

       3 but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a wasteland, and gave his inheritance to the desert jackals."

       4 Though Edom says: "We have been devastated, but we will rebuild the ruins," the Lord of Hosts says

       this: "They may build, but I will demolish.” They will be called a wicked country and the people the Lord

       has cursed forever.

       5 Your own eyes will see this, and you yourselves will say: The Lord is great, even beyond the borders

       of Israel.


       How could the people of God hear the declaration of God’s love and dispute it? Then question Him about it. In this context one commentator says, “loved refers to choice rather than affection.” However I think

God’s love is always expressed with knowledge and wisdom. Most of us know God has expressed His love to us beginning with His gift of Jesus Christ as the sin bearer providing salvation for us. When I have the opportunity to question parents with handicapped children I ask how do you relate to your child and the handicap? All have told me the child is a blessing and has taught them about the love of God in ways they never dreamed possible. The people in Malachi’s day, in my opinion, had become very selfish and judged God’s love

by there personal pleasures and riches. It is interesting how many people in poverty thank God for His love and care and know it is a matter of grace.

 

2.   True Hope . . Produces True Worship. 1:6-8

       A.   True Worship . . Declared From the Lord. 1:6

6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am

       a master, where is your fear of Me? says the Lord of Hosts to you priests, who despise My name."

       Yet you ask: "How have we despised Your name?"

 

       B    True Worship . . Despised By The People. 1:7-8

       7 "By presenting defiled food on My altar."

       You ask: "How have we defiled You?" When you say: "The Lord's table is contemptible."

       8 "When you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick

       animal, is it not wrong? Bring it to your governor! Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?" asks

       the Lord of Hosts.


       Do you think people today do things that the Lord thinks demonstrate a sense of despising the Lord? Do you notice the number of people who used to worship on Sunday Night but do not today? Why have many churches eliminated Church Training on Sunday Night? What about Wednesday Night prayer meeting? In order to reach youth some churches have music that many think matches the world’s music but not true worship.

However some adults refuse to have contemporary music of any kind and sit in a worship service with very few Youth. Compromise does not have to mean a lack of respect for God and true worship. As we enter the house of worship we should sense the presence of God and desire to honor Him. The preacher needs to really preach the Word as it calls people to honor the Lord as the Holy Spirit brings conviction.

 

3    True Hope . . Produces True Worship. 1:9-11

       A.   True Worship . . Defined By The Lord. 1:9-10

9 "And now ask for God's favor. Will He be gracious to us? Since this has come from your hands, will He show any of you favor?" asks the Lord of Hosts.

10 "I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so you would no longer kindle a useless fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the Lord of Hosts, "and I will accept no offering from your hands.

 

       B.   True Worship . . Declared From the Lord. 1:11

11 "For My name will be great among the nations, from the rising of the sun to its setting. Incense and pure offerings will be presented in My name in every place because My name will be great among the nations," says the Lord of Hosts. HCSB


       Have you ever thought the Lord would rather our church doors were closed and the kind of worship we give rejected? If this has happened or does happen then what we call worship has become too much about us and to little about the Lord. Recently I listened to a sermon on radio with some good information but the name of Jesus was not mentioned. The man has a good speaking voice and easy to listen to but no Jesus. God says His name will be great among the nations. That must be referring to a future day, but it certainly should be true

in our churches and worship services. We need to make sure the main subject is the Lord, if we do that it will produce True Hope . Amen? Amen!