The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 2

We go on to Malachi 3:7-12
 
Israel (just like many in the church today) had a chronic problem: They doubted G-d and did not trust Him. They questioned His faithfulness and turned away from His instructions, in order to take things into their own hands. 
 
v7: (Fore)fathers: Within this context this is not referring to the Patriarchs but to what many generations (ancestors) did throughout Israel’s history. 
·      Gone away from: Turned away from.
·      Ordinances: G-d’s statutesHis law or commandments. They had a tendency not to agree with, nor to obey, G-d’s instructions. 
·      Kept them: Guarded them. The children of Israel did not value or treasure G-d’s commands. If they had treasured them, they would have guarded them. 
·      Return to Me and I will return to you: G-d is gracious and merciful. He is willing to receive repentant individuals.
·      The L-rd: Referring to the Mighty G-d who is able to do, and able to overcome, all things.
·      Of hosts: Of the armies. G-d is willing to go to war in order for His purposes to be realised, experienced and enjoyed in the lives of those who believe in Him. G-d wants us to rejoice, but in order to rejoice we have to value the things that G-d values.
·      But you said: Once again, the people are questioning G-d. The people make poor decisions in that they don’t agree with G-d and constantly want to argue with Him or refute what He has said. 
·      In what way shall we return: The people don’t see a need to return. They think that they are right with G-d. They do not see themselves from G-d’s perspective. They need to respond to G-d based on what G-d has spoken to them, but they disagree with what G-d is saying. 
 
v8: Will a man rob G-d: They were unwilling to be faithful to G-d in their finances. 
·      Rob: A person who is robbed does not like to be defrauded.
·      G-d: The term used for G-d here relates to the Judging G-d. One of the foremost characteristics and understandings of G-d that we should have is that G-d is Judge.
·      You: Written in the plural. G-d is talking to all the people. 
·      But you say: Once again they don’t see it from G-d’s perspective. They don’t agree with G-d.
·      Tithes: Giving to G-d ten percent of our income (Gen 14:18-20, Heb 7:2 – Like Abraham, tithing predated the giving of the law).
·      Offerings: Donating, giving of our finances (over and above the 10% minimum), for the things of G-d. There are great benefits when we acknowledge G-d and submit to Him in the area of our finances. When we are good managers of those resources, and we demonstrate our faith, trust and submissiveness to G-d with our money there is going to be a mighty response from G-d.
 
v9: Curse with a curse: This is the consequence of not being faithful with our finances.
·      Nation: Here G-d is using this term for nation in a very negative way. He is saying that the people are behaving in such a way that they are not acknowledging the covenantal relationship that they have with Him. They are behaving like the Gentiles, like the heathens. This leads us to a foundational truth: If we are not demonstrating a covenantal relationship with G-d (specifically, a New Covenant relationship through the blood of Messiah Yeshua) then we are going to be eternally cursed.
 
v10: Bring all the tithes into the storehouse: This is the solution. We need to be faithful, and we need to acknowledge G-d. 
·      All: Not just a portion. Not just what is left over.
·      The storehouse: This was a part of the temple where the tithes and offerings were stored before distribution. 
·      Food in My house: The people of G-d were to use these offerings in order to bless others – to feed them and to minister to them. It is when people’s physical needs are met that they are then able to bless the L-rd (Deut 8:10). The faithfulness of the people, in giving their tithes and their offerings, meant that there was food available to give to the needy. Once the needy were satisfied they would acknowledge G-d by worshipping Him. This was the influence Israel was supposed to have upon their own people as well as on the nations – leading others to worship G-d. 
·      Prove Me: Try Me or test Me. G-d is inviting the people to do this. We need to be faithful with our finances and obey G-d’s instructions concerning our money (we cannot serve two masters: We serve either G-d or we serve money – Matt 6:24). 
·      Windows: This word literally means ‘chimney’. A chimney gives the smoke an opportunity to go from one place to another (it is a pipeline or a direct route to go from one place into another). 
·      Pour out: This is not the word for pour out but is the word for ‘to empty out’. This is significant. If something is poured out it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is emptied out – there may be some left over in the ‘bottle’. When something is emptied out it means that G-d will give everything, all that He wants us to receive. G-d wants us to obey Him so that He can do good things for us. 
·      There will not be room enough to receive it: This is a reference to G-d pouring out so much blessing or goodness on us that our cups overflow (Ps 23:5) – we experience abundance. Abundance is a primary characteristic of the kingdom of G-d. When we are faithful with our finances, and we acknowledge our faith in G-d with our money, we are going to begin to experience G-d’s Kingdom reality in our lives. This is what G-d is promising us.
 
v11: I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes: Not only does G-d bless us with abundance but He also goes to work against our enemy. 
·      Devourer: One that eats up. We might be saved but if we are not living obedient lives we are cheating or robbing ourselves of the blessings that could be ours – i.e. G-d’s ministry and activity in our lives. The enemy wants to devour the good things that G-d has in store for us (1 Cor 2:9). If we are disobedient, then the enemy is successful, and we experience loss (1 Cor 3:14-15). 
·      Nor shall the vine fail:  Suffer loss. The vine is going to be fruitful – it is going to produce the fruit that sustains life. It is not going to be a vine of bereavement (meaning that which causes sorrow because of a lack of unfruitfulness). If we are obedient to G-d, He is going to make our lives fruitful. 
·      Says the L-rd: This is His promise. 
 
v12: Call you: Literally: ‘Certify’. They are going to document or acknowledge with their words 
·      Blessed: Can also be translated ‘happy’. The people of G-d, those in a covenantal relationship with Him, belong to Him. As such, they are blessed or happy. 
·      Delightful land: Land is related to blessing. G-d’s blessing goes back to the Covenant he made in Genesis 12:1-3 with Abraham – that blessing is connected to the land (which is so important Scripturally). Those who say that G-d is no longer interested in real estate or who see no significance to the land of Israel are false teachers. They do not acknowledge G-d’s Word and what He says prophetically about this land in regard to the last days.

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