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Malachi 3 – Where is the Righteous God 玛拉基书 3 – 公义的神在哪里 

Malachi 3 – Where is the Righteous God

Thursday, 16th March 2023

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

God was talking to His people through prophet Malachi, because the people were corrupted, and even the priests and the Levites, they did not even realise that they sinned against God. They still continued to offer to God, but their hearts were not there. God called us because He wants to set us apart, so we will not see the world, because the world will pull us away from God. It’s so easy for us to look at the world, to look at the environment, to look at the people around us, then make decision. But God wants us to only live for Him, He is righteous, His judgement is coming, we must not test God’s boundary.

We no longer seek God, we use our own ways to interpret the Word of God, we speak to people out of our own selfish desires. We thought we are making people coming to church, to like church, to offer to church… but in Malachi 3, God told His people that whatever they did was not pleasing in God’s eyes, everything they did was just religious rituals, but they did not honour God. The world is falling, but we are falling with it, because we cannot see God, we think God is not with us any more, and we think that we can live comfortably without God. We think that if we follow God’s path, then we will lose our lifestyles, we don’t see the righteous God, and we only want to compare ourselves with others. We have been challenged by the same question, where is the righteous God? Is God really there?

Section One V1-6 The Time is Near

V1 ‘Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.’ What does God want to tell us today? This is not only a message about the coming of Jesus and John the Baptist, but also a message for all of us, the Christians of the New Testament. This also reminds us of the second coming of Jesus and the judgement of the end times. The refining fire will burn away all the wickedness and purify the world.

V2-3 ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.’ This is the time to seriously look into our lives, do not think we are good enough, do not think that we have done enough, but to examine everything that comes through our heart and our mind. God wants to live among us, He will sit with us as a refiner and purifier, He will reveal to us all the wickedness in our lives and let us turn back to Him. God wants to restore the covenant of Levi, which we did not think it was important. Because we do not see the disasters and the plague coming towards us, we do not think there are problems we need to deal with in our lives, and we fail to convict ourselves for sin, for righteousness and for judgement.

When God reminds us, what is our attitude? Do we stop doing certain things only because God said so? Or can we deal with the root of our sins, to see our motivation of being rebellious? When God told the people not to eat the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, would we obey His command out of fear? Or can we see how real God is in our lives? God wants to dwell among us, He gave us His Word and He will stay with us to train us, to refine us, to guide us, and to purify us, so we can be like gold and silver. Everything God does in our lives is to make us like the gold and silver, God is calling the gold and silver back to His Temple, the world will be destroyed, only by staying in the Temple of God we can be saved.

Do not think we don’t have the calling to serve God in His Temple. When we became followers of Christ, the calling had come, we are the priests of the New Testament, and we are to serve Him in His appointed place. This is the end time, God is speaking His teaching and disciplines to His people, because He loves us, He does not want to put us down but wants us to turn back to Him.

Section Two V7-12 Turn Back and Be Blessed

V7 ‘Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you said, in what way shall we return?’ God wants us to turn back now, not when we are ready, but right now. Because God has already prepared His blessings for us, but when we don’t turn back, when we don’t listen to God, when we don’t take the teaching seriously, then we can never receive what He has prepared instore for us.

V10 ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’ What is all the tithes? It’s not only about doing tithing, it’s not only about putting money in the offering box, but it’s also about our fruits. Do we bear fruits for God? God said our children are our inheritance, not only our physical children but also our spiritual children, do we offer them to God? It’s easy to give money, but it’s not easy to keep the covenant of Levi. We are unwilling to walk the way of righteousness and mercy for God, to share the Gospel to the needy, and to lead people to God, not to ourselves.

This is our tithes, our fruits, our offering to God, we must come out of our comfort zone, to turn back to God, and we will receive life. Bring the people to God, disciple them, teach them, share Gospel to them, and let God’s glory come upon them. When we don’t bear fruits, when we don’t have disciples, when we don’t have inheritance, then we must have hunger and thirst, to ask God for the same promise of Abraham, to be fruitful, to multiply, and to cover the earth.

Section Three V13-18 Set Apart as Holy

V13-15 ‘Your words have been harsh against Me, says the Lord, yet you say, what have we spoken against You? You have said, it is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.’ We see the people of the world, they don’t listen to God, they do whatever they want to do, they don’t follow God’s commands… and they don’t seem to have any problems in their lives. We have a lot of voices inside of us, we see others walking on their wicked ways but are not punished, then we start to doubt the teaching of God.

We start testing the boundary, we don’t bring the righteousness of God to the people, but instead, we tend to say the words pleasing to them. We don’t show people how serious it is to walk away from the path of God and to despise the Word of God.

V16-18 ‘Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. They shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.’ We must help people to set themselves apart, do not let them fall in the sins, do not let them trip in wickedness, but to show them the path to return to God. We are the ones being called, let us not forget our calling, and let us see God in every aspect of our lives.

玛拉基书 3 – 公义的神在哪里                                                          

2023年3月16日 星期四




一、v.1-6 时间快到了

V1-2 这段话若单是预言施洗约翰和耶稣基督,就只是历史记录了,其实这里也在描述末世的审判。唯有地狱的“火”才能将一切杂质烧尽。我们说自己是基督徒,来教会敬拜、祷告,但我们的生命却一团糟,没有活出信仰,神提醒我们时间快到了,“主必忽然进入他的殿…..他来的日子,谁能当得起呢?”

V3-4 神说“坐下”,意思是他要停留、居住在这里,炼净我们一切的任意妄为、熬炼我们每一个他所拣选的利未人。神要恢复利未之约。我们没有看重利未之约,看到地上的瘟疫等灾祸也觉得无所谓,没有因为这些问题的发生而为罪为义为审判来自我责备,反而安于现状,与问题共存。我们是否像非尼哈样敏锐,从瘟疫中看到人的罪和神的公义?圣灵来,是让我们看到自己的生命,而不是去批评论断别人。我们很难认罪,或者只看见我们行为上的问题,却没有看见我们里面罪的根源、动机,因为我们对圣灵闭塞。神居住在我们当中,如熬炼金银一样熬炼我们。我们在被熬炼的过程中觉得不舒服,但我们要看到自己是要归回圣殿的“金银”,并不属于在外面这个会毁灭的世界。我们既然是新约的祭司、利未人,就要遵守利未之约。神在这个艰难的时刻仍然抱着爱与信任对我们说话,让我们可以回转。

V6 我们当知道自己是神所拣选的“雅各之子”,是不会灭亡的。

二、v.7-12 转回得祝福

V7 我们今日听到神的话,就要在今日转回,而不要拖延到“等我预备好”之后。

V8-10 不要以为我们在财物上有做“什一”就好了,要看到我们也有“当献的供物”- 没有产业的祭司利未人如何有供物?就是如亚伯拉罕当初愿意献上自己的儿子那样奉献我们初熟的果子给主。我们是否有“当献的供物”,还是只有自己?我们是否有结果子,所结出来的的果子是否能放在祭坛上献给神?我们所带出来的人是否都只追求这个世界?神的光来到我们里不是让人来喜欢我们。我们的生命要改变、转回,就得祝福。

V11 我们想要自己去“捉虫”,没有让神来帮助我们除去那些阻挡我们祝福的“蝗虫”。我们花时间在自己觉得舒服的事情上,却没有努力去传扬福音、门训列国。

V12 我们是否觉得自己一个人过就很好,是否觉得没有儿女、没有带出门徒也无所谓?我们要看到我们所领受的亚伯拉罕的祝福,使我们的后裔能多如天上的星、海边的沙。

三、v.13-18 要分别为圣

V13-14 虽然过了几千年,我们的心态还是和之前那些人一样,认为服事神太辛苦、没有好处,于是就放纵情欲。

V15 我们祭司、利未人看到那些人不听神的话、随从自己的心意行事,反而过着好的生活,心里就产生很多对神的质疑,于是也开始放纵自己的情欲。我们不愿意将利未之约教导人,害怕将神的公义彰显,但神看重的是如非尼哈那样有忌邪的心。

V16-18 神要分别出来的是敬畏耶和华的祭司利未人。我们要帮助别人从罪当中分别出来,不要让他们继续沉沦,因为神的心意是让人人都能悔改、得救。愿我们每人都能警醒过来,回转向他。