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Live Honorable Malachi 2:1-2, 8-16 August 19, 2007

Honorable living may be defined differently by people but the vast majority appreciate and honorable life.  Most individual Baptist believe an honorable lifestyle must be associated with a belief of God's Word. The Bible definitely tells us to Live Honorable.

1. God's Priest Called To Live Honorably By . . Standing For God's Word. 2:1-2, 8-9

  A. The . . Clarity Of The Call. 2:1
1 "Therefore, this decree is for you priests:

  B. The . . Curse Of The Call. 2:2a
2 If you don't listen, and if you don't take it to heart to honor My name," says the LORD of Hosts, "I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings.

  C. The . . Confirmation Of The Call. 2:2b
". . . In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart.

  D. The . . Contradiction Of The Call. 2:8
8 "You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of Hosts.

  E. The . . Consequences Of The Call. 2:9
9 "So I in turn have made you despised and humiliated before all the people because you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in your instruction."

The message in our text begins clearly addressed to the priest. They were supposed to stand as an example of God's Word. God promises a curse upon their blessings if they do not change their ways. The confirmation of what God promised came from the already existing curse due to the priest ministering without obedience. The lifestyle of the priest actually contradicted the covenant God initiated. All of this disobedience produced undesirable consequences. What a shame to receive the curse of the Lord even though He promised, and desires to give His blessing.

2. God's People Called To . . Set An Example From God's Word. 2:10-12

  A. The People Called To Set A Positive Example Of . . Dependence 2:10a
10 Don't all of us have one Father? Didn't one God create us?

  B. The People Called To Set A Positive Example Of . . Discipline. 2:10b - 11a
". . . Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has acted treacherously, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem.
  C. The People Set A Negative Example Of . . Deprecation. 2:11b - 13
". . . For Judah has profaned the LORD's sanctuary, which He loves, and has married the daughter of  a foreign god. 12 To the man who does this, may the LORD cut off any descendants from the tents of Jacob, even if they present an offering to the LORD of Hosts. 13 And this is another thing you do: you cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer respects your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands. The way of the priest affects the lifestyle of the people. Their disobedience followed that of the priest.

    God calls the people to remember they all have the same creator. If a group of people recognize their common dependence upon the Creator it will affect their lifestyle. I heard someone say if you teach people they came from an evolution of animal life they will act like a bunch of donkeys. Do you see the evidence of such behavior? The disciple of the people in relationship to God needed great improvement, and definitely affected their interaction with their fellow citizens. All of this disobedience caused a depreciation in the appreciation for the Word and ways of God. The people did things detestable to the Lord; their tears upon the altar did not impress the Lord because He knew their other actions profaned the house of God.

3. God's People Called To . . Stick With Commitments From God's Word. 2:14-16

  A. The People Called To Stick With Their Commitments . . Witnessed By The Lord. 2:14
14 Yet you ask, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.

  B. The People Called To Stick With Their Commitments . . Watched Over By The Lord. 2:15
15 Didn't the one God make us with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek? A godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth.

  C. The People Called To Stick With Their Commitments . . Watched Over By The Husband. 2:16
16 "If he hates and divorces his wife," says the LORD God of Israel, "he covers his garment with injustice," says the LORD of Hosts. Therefore, watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously.

    I am very pleased to know several Christians who have or will celebrate fifty years of marriage. Check around your neighbored and see if there are such married people. If you find those people they will usually be church people. People who stick to their commitments usually base they lifestyle in God's Word. In the text these people did not follow God's word and it affected their lifestyle. Note the witness, and watchfulness of God, He is well aware of their conduct. The sixteenth verse is translated differently by the translators of the HCSB. I personally do not like this particular translation, even though I agree the HEBREW is not easy to translate. But why translate differently than the, NKJV, NAS, NIV? Our translation does put the translation of these versions in the footnotes. I would prefer they made their translation like the footnotes, and put their personal translation in the footnotes. However we translate we need to Live Honorable. Amen? Amen!