#Malachi 3:16-18

Malachi 3,16-18

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THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITHFUL

Malachi 3:16-18

INTRODUCTION

The world has often used certain popular phrases like:

     1. Might makes right

     2. The majority is right

NOTE: The popularity of polls. The only absolute is what the majority says.

God’s righteous are rooted like a tree in the Word of God. The ungodly are not so. Psalm 1:4 describes the ungodly tossed about the wind.

The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.        Psalm 1:4 NASB

In Malachi God’s word is directed toward those who claim to be His people. Basically they don’t want to be like the world.  But many of them don’t seem to have in themselves either the ability or the desire to do things God’s way.

They are so like King Saul. They know God has placed them where they are.  They know what they should do. But the world keeps tripping them up. They try to serve God their way.

In every group of believers, as in Malachi’s day, there will be those who put a lot of effort into serving the Lord but blow it.

But in the background will be the quiet, faithful “seven thousand who have not bent their knee to Baal.” These are the ones we wish to direct our thoughts now.

THEME: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITHFUL ARE:

I. THEY FEAR THE LORD           vs. 16

     A. Fear

     1. Not of terror or guilt but fear of a love that is always alive to the possible alienation of its object

     2. Reverential love

NOTE: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children  Psalm 103:17 KJV

     B. The Lord

NOTE: vs. 14 El cf. vs. 16 Jehovah

          1. Personal relationship

          2. Denotes fellowship

     C. They Spake Often One To Another

          1. The more the ungodly spake among themselves against God, the more these faithful spake among themselves for God

          2. In order to strengthen each other against the ungodly sayings of the ungodly

          3. Jewish saying:  “When two sit together, and there is no words of the Law spoken between them, there is the seat of the scorner.”

NOTE: Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful Psalm 1:1 NKJV

NOTE: On the phone, make a point to tell of a blessing rather than gossip

     D. The Lord Hearkened And Heard It

          1. Hearkened – bent His ear from heaven

          2. Heard–understood attentively

     E. A Book Of Remembrance Was Written For Them Who Fear And Thought Upon His Name

          1. A book of remembrance

NOTE: Kings had books written containing the good and evil deeds of their subjects toward the throne

               a. That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him.

In those records he discovered an account of how Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the eunuchs who guarded the door to the king’s private quarters. They had plotted to assassinate King Xerxes.

Esther 6:1-2 NLT

               b. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 NLT

               c. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.   Luke 10:20 KJV

NOTE: The King of the universe also has books of record

               d. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.        Revelation 20:12 KJV

NOTE: Not one loyal word for Him and His glory escapes Him

          2. Thought upon His name

NOTE: Thought – intense meaning

              a. Esteemed or prized cf. 1:6

NOTE: “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts
To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’  Malachi 1:6 NKJV

NOTE: He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.      Isaiah 53:3 HCSB

              b. The taking of an inventory of treasury

NOTE: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. cf. the treasures of Malachi’s day

NOTE: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.        Luke 12:34 KJV

          a. In their possessions

          b. In their nationality

          c. In their temple

               c. The thinking on His name was with all care to avoid all things which may tend to the dishonor of it

THEME: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITHFUL

          I. THEY FEAR THE LORD

II. THEY BELONG TO THE LORD        vs. 17

     A. They Shall Be Mine When I Make Up My Jewels (Special Treasure)

          1. Prized

NOTE: Prize His name and He will prize you

         2. Guarded – a possession of special value

     B. I Will Spare Them

          1. Not of their own merits

               a. cf. Works of the Pharisee

               b. “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.

And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.

Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:28-31 ESV

          2. Spare – in contrast to the punishment of the ungodly

          3. As a man spareth his own son who serveth him

               a. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.         Psalm 103:13 NASB

         b. God wants to show tender mercy to them as a father to an obedient son

THEME: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITHFUL ARE:

          I. THEY FEAR THE LORD

         II. THEY BELONG TO THE LORD

III. THEY CAN DISCERN            vs. 18

NOTE: Return – when we turn from our sinful state and have the characteristics of the faithful, then we return to see in light of God’s Word

    A. Between The Righteous And The Wicked

NOTE: Are they for God or against God (very simple)

          1. The wheat and the tares (weeds)

NOTE: They may look alike but the fruit of their actions give them away

NOTE: But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left.

When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared.

Matthew 13:25-26 HCSB

          2. Preoccupation with evil can only weaken the hand and distress the spirit; but occupation with Him who sits in peace above all the mists of the earth will strengthen and cheer, and prove the only real power for practical holiness and victory over all the might of the enemy

     B. Between Those Who Serve God And Those Who Serve Him Not

          1. The Lord put a difference between Israel and Egypt

NOTE: But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Exodus 11:7 NASB

          2. The time will come when we shall see the difference

NOTE: Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My servants shall eat, But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;

Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for grief of spirit.

Isaiah 65:13-14 NKJV

CONCLUSION

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FAITHFUL ARE:

I. THEY FEAR THE LORD

II. THEY BELONG TO THE LORD

III. THEY CAN DISCERN

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