Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 | John Bayles | The Fourth Dispute: The Weariness of Injustice (Malachi 2:17-3:6)

Weariness can be an erosive force. It's power is in delay. As the Proverbs state: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." Waiting for the full restoration of their nation, the people had lost touch with the God who formed them, built them, disciplined and deported them, and finally re-formed them. Sadly, after only a short period of time they had lost touch with their God and lost hope in their historic identity. In this malaise, Israel established their own system of morality and from it their own brand of justice.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14, 2011 | John Bayles | The Third Dispute: The Faithless People (Malachi 2:10-16)

Malachi moves from the priests to the people in this third dispute. What is the core purpose of humanity? What did God create man to be and do? If these questions can be answered, then it will lead to an understanding of why God had gone to such an extent to preserve his fallen progeny. We see man's mandate is an understanding of Genesis 1:26, when God stated, "Let us make man to be our image bearer." Far from simply being like God or looking like God, man was to be the reflector of God's communicable attributes: love, goodness, truthfulness, and faithfulness.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011 | John Bayles | The Second Dispute: The Fear and Honor of His Name (Malachi 1:6-2:9)

Though God had demonstrated his love and care for Israel over their entire existence, He, in love had taken them into exile. For seventy years they were disciplined, and, in a remarkable move, God brought them back into their own land, rebuilt their temple, reconstructed their walls and reengaged their temple sacrificial system. This is an incredible and exclusive demonstration of an historic people group becoming literally extinct and then reemerging as a nation state. Who would believe that they would ever forget this mercy or cease to give thanks and honor to the One who brought them through this long pilgrimage? Obviously, Israel had forgotten their own history, and lost their thanks and honor for Yahweh in a few short years.