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Mirror of this Age

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2020 8:00 am

Mirror of this Age

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 26, 2020 8:00 am

Malachi speaks with great relevance today. As Malachi reminds the people of his day to remain faithful to God, he also teaches us to keep the promises we make to God and to one another. As you study this series youll also learn the importance of faithfulness, marriage, and why God hates divorce. Malachi will encourage you by looking forward to the great future day of Gods coming, and challenge you by facing new beginnings with faith.

Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
Beacon Baptist
Gregory N. Barkman
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt

Welcome to the Bible study reviewing Internet ministry of confessing featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James boards. For more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repairing you to think and act biblically little more than 30 years ago I was sitting with my family around the dining room table out in Western Pennsylvania on the first Friday night in September, and the former pastor of this church got a great Barnhouse was our guest for dinner. We were talking about schooling. I was 13 at the time we've been talking about high school I was about to go on dates grade but Barnhouse know of a school on Long Island called the Stony Brook school and he was asking me whether or not I would be willing to go there. Remember him saying specifically Jimmy would you go away to Stony Brook.

If your parents would send you.

I remember hesitating slightly in my mind because that was the time of year when school started and Barnhouse was a very impetuous plan. I imagine that if I said yes that might very well produce a radical change in my lifestyle but I did. I said yes I I think I would be happy to go and sewing got up from the table. We were midway through the meal we finished our main course. Dessert was yet the company didn't wait for dessert.

He got right up in the middle of the meal he went into the other room.

He picked up the telephone and called Frank cable line who was headmaster at Stony Brook at the time and said Frank have a boy here for you. I'm sure it's much harder to get into Stony Brook these days. But I was accepted on the spot and then we came back and had dessert and that the next day my mother and father took me into town where they got close, that they thought were appropriate for going away to school and then on Sunday we drove out to Long Island and there I was 24 hours earlier, I couldn't even spell Stony Brook and now I were one transition that was in the short space of time, the book of Malachi us like that in some ways it's a transition book. Most anybody who knows anything at all about the Bible, knows that Malachi is the last of the Old Testament books its last in terms of its placement in the Bible, but it's also last in terms of the period of history in which it was written and which it refers. Occasionally when we've been talking about these minor prophets we've had to admit quite honestly that we don't know exactly when minor profit was written. Sometimes we can place it within a general historical framework within the period of so many years, but only generally is not true in the case of Malachi, even a very quick reading of this book will indicate to the reader knows anything at all about Old Testament history that it's postexilic, that means that it comes after the Babylonian captivity. When the people were taken off to Babylon under the power of Nebuchadnezzar and then had returned to their own land under the guidance of Zerubbabel and Joshua's evidently in that later. A history but when you read the book you can narrow it down even closer than that generation or so ago there was a Roman Catholic scholar's name was Trinka who did a careful analysis of this book. In terms of its dating and made an argument which is so generally convincing that with very few exceptions scholar since his time followed that fairly carefully. Trinka pointed out that according to a careful reading of the book template been rebuilt, which places Malachi's.

After that Haggai and Zechariah the books that come immediately before him in the Old Testament, he pointed out, secondly, that the Jews were apparently still under a civil ruler to pick up from verse eight of chapter 1 where there's a reference to the governor. This means that the last. Which it could have been written was during the days of Nehemiah because he was the last of the civil rulers of Israel and Judah. And then he pointed out, thirdly, that the problems with which this book deals formalism and religion mixed marriages, failure of the people to provide the times for the temple worship and such things.

All of these are identical with the problems with which Nehemiah down so Trinka said that the book would have had to have been written either during the period between Nehemiah's first residence in Jerusalem and the second or during the second residence itself. This would mean that Malachi was to Nehemiah something of what Haggai and Zechariah were to Zerubbabel and Joshua about 100 years before. With this in terms of secular dating. Nehemiah returned from Persia to Jerusalem and the 32nd year of attic Xerxes, the king, which was 432 BC and the king died in 424 BC so it has to of been with them that particular and relatively narrow framework of time so you Nehemiah and Malachi coming as I said very in all the Old Testament historical.

The same guy.

Malachi is a book that looks toward the future and does so in very specific ways.

This is what makes it so significant as a transitional book Malachi in the third chapter forward to that messenger who is going to come before God himself. God is speaking. Malachi 31 and he says see I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Only way that could possibly be fulfilled was in the person of John the Baptist, who was the precursor of the Lord Jesus Christ, that at the very end of the book and therefore the very end of the Old Testament you have these words. See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord, he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children in the hearts of the children to their fathers or else I will come and strike land with a curse.

These are the verses that must've been in the mind of the disciples when they ask Lord. On one occasion, referring to the teaching of the Pharisees and the scribes.

Why then did the rulers of the people say that Elijah must come first I were thinking of this text in the Pharisees certainly were before them, Jesus replied, I tell you Elijah has come. If you would receive it. But he said they have done to him. Whatever they would and they will do the same thing to the Son of Man. The passage which is in Matthew's gospel tells us that at that point the disciples understood Jesus was speaking to them about John the Baptist. You have this wonderful transition book book that comes at the very end of the Old Testament revelation which anticipates the New Testament revelation of the great commentators on the book TV more wrote about it. It is the transition link between the two great dispensations of redemption last note of that magnificent oratorio of Revelation whose wailings of sorrow and greetings of hope were soon to give place to that richer song which should be not only of Moses but also of the Lamb and tell not only of Eden and Sinai, but also of Calvary in heaven.

This transitional nature of the book should make it interesting to anyone who is concerned with the history of revelation and redemption as well as the relationship between Judaism and Christianity is not only because of its place as an historical transition Malachi is so interesting.

Malachi is also interesting because it is a remarkable reflection upon a secular array that's merely another way of saying that it describes not only the age in which Malachi wrote that would certainly does not eloquently, but any secular age and therefore also pertinently and vividly secular age in which we live is an interesting word that occurs in Malachi again and again provide something of an outline of the book at least one outline that a person could follow and which, by its very repetition draws our attention to it in terms of its emphasis on the word how HOW the owner, King James version uses the word wherein the idea is the same and whether it's translated, holler, whether it's translated, wherein said expression of fact secular mindsets of human beings, which demands that God come down from his throne to our level and give an answer explaining himself in terms of human morality and human just very arrogant kind of thing rather than learning from God demands that God learn from us because we've seen things as they are in God if he thinks differently. Obviously is wrong. Worth looking at these preview if you well of what's to come. In the book 1st time this occurs is in verse two of the very first chapter about, says the first part of that verse. I have loved you and the people reply using this word. How have you loved us. Now this is not going to see this throughout the book, the trial questioning how this is not the humble stance of mind it says God I hear what you said and now I would like further information about the teaching, show us the ways in which you loved us. We want to learn. This is not that all is God telling the people that he love them and the people in their arrogance are looking at their status. They see it in her contrasting it with what they think they deserve and are questioning the love the gods as he has for the how.

If you loved us why look at the state in which we find ourselves. We look back to the past and we see that glorious era that we have under King David went well of the world seem to be pouring into the city of Jerusalem. When our enemies were subdued when we were strong all day, but we can look back to and say well then there was a time that God loved us. We look about at our selves today were not nearly so prosperous and our country is a nearly so secure. You say that you love us, you better have very good reasons for it, because as we look at things would seem that the opposite is the case in place that word how curses in verse six. Here is a section of the book in which God is speaking to the priest of the clergy going to look at the section in our next study God accuses them of something here.

You said you priests despise my name. Now is the text goes on, we discover how it is that they despised his name. They take an in-service likely instead of presenting and the sacrifices animals would be a credit to what they were doing and an honor to God.

They've taken all of the blind animals.

All of the crippled animals. All of the diseased animals, animals, and nobody else wanted and they offered them on the altar, despising the name of God.

And yet, in spite of the fact that they take the service of God so lightly and as were going to see later on actually counter the wearisome burden in which to be engaged. God says you despise my name a safe, how have we despised other words, God, that's a pretty serious accusation to make against your brace. You think we despised you better be able to tell us how because we think that when you give your reasons and we explain the way things really are going to discover that your accusation is unjust and you're going to have to eat your work. That's the way there got answers number seven say I'll tell you how you place defiled food on my altar and they replied at that point. How have we defiled you all of that is explained in the following verses and yet so self-satisfied are they so self-righteous are they so accepting a lady, the inferior service which they been offering up to God that they don't even see it again see the wrong there doing fourth-place. His word occurs is in the second chapter verse 17.

Here it says you have wearied the Lord with your words and the people reply.

At that point how we weary out if the next verse wasn't there.

We wouldn't understand what this is talking about. Assuming that the next part of that belongs with what we've just read, we find the kind of words that they been speaking in which it wearied got to be a long these lines, they say, all who do evil or good in the sight of the Lord and he is pleased with them or where is God of justice when I talking about what they mean when they say all evil or good in the eyes of the Lord for the evil with evil people are everybody else who the good good people are themselves to what they're saying is this, even though they have offered such an inferior service to God even though they sing so poorly on them. The last of the arrogance to assume that they are good they say look godly been living bright lines.

We are very pleased with ourselves. You have to be pleased with this as well, but we have noticed that even though we have been paradox of spiritual morality. Nevertheless, our words form of life does not give evidence of your blessing. You're just gonna really honors the good and punishes the guilty why we should be just at the pinnacle of worldly success. Instead, we live in this sort of paltry way in which you find where is the God of justice say there's nothing wrong with reminding God.

The God is a God of justice.

Abraham did that on one occasion God was about to destroy. Sodomy said, shall not the judge of all the earth do right.

There's nothing wrong with that, the judge of all the earth must be right. Judge of all the earth does not do right. The judge of all the earth is not God wrong with that say what was wrong with their evaluation of themselves as soon they were wonderful. Point of fact they were much inferior to those of the previous generation and certainly what should've been required of them as the servants of God in the third chapter we find the word twice more.

Find it in verse six. There God gives them a challenge returned to me and I will return to you, and they asked how are we to return now. I wasn't a request that God give them a sermon on the steps of repentance tell us how we should repent what we do first what we do. Second, what we do for it wasn't at all were saying look like you say returned to you. But how can you say that people are already as obedient as we are why we are so close to you.

Hardly anybody could fall this our spirituality and you say return hi should we return, you examine the situation carefully you'll find the one above reproach.

God says next verse eight. Will a man rob God. Yet you rob me all the people asks the thought here is God the God of the universe, accusing them of having him I almost hear the incredulous unbelief in their voices. I asked how do we rob you. God is very curt at this point he doesn't even put it in a full sentence just the answer briefly given in times and offerings and of course in many other ways besides police ties and offerings. You can measure Tyler's attempt to get out of what your income is take 1/10 of that's easy enough to show you don't get the chance. God says you don't get the times and offerings which are easy to measure its most certainly the case that you're not giving your whole heart your soul your life in your mind, which is what you owe to God as a creature and also on the basis of the teaching of the Old Testament law what you profess so enthusiastically to about last place that word occurs is in verse 13, though it's a bit hard to find both in the new international version and in the King James God says you have said harsh things against me and they asked what we said against you for some reason translators render the word water in this case, presumably because it's easier to say what we said against you, rather than how have we spoken against you, but in the Hebrew it's the same word here are the people who have had paltry thoughts of God who have been accusing God of injustice was that God is unfair because of he was scared he would bless us in more material ways. People who have those thoughts in their minds and those words on their tongues constantly.

Yes, who had the audacity to say to God, what have we ever said against you will as I say that's a very sad state and expression not only of the secular mindset of Malachi's time of our own as well say when we talk about a secular mindset we're inclined to think, and I suppose lightly of the secular world. Certainly this is the kind of thoughts secular world would have about God if they think of God in all secular world is a very low concept of sin. It has any concept. Therefore, anything that goes wrong somehow is God's fault. He gets blamed for all interesting thing about this is that we can bring it even closer home and that the secular world thinks like this notice. This is not written about the Egyptians of Malachi's day, the Babylonians of Malachi's day, or any of the other people's around about this is written about the so-called people of God about the priests obey all one of the gods of Egypt, the priests of Jehovah. This is among the people of God, that you find the secularism, Morgan is one of the good commentators on Malachi, and he says one point, words that make that clear. These people are not the rights in open rebellion against God, nor did they deny is right offerings but they are laboring under the delusion that because they brought offerings they been true to him all along.

Theirs is not the language of the people throwing off the yoke and saying we will not be loyal, but of the people established in the temple, the language of the people who say let's stop sacrificing and worship. Let's do as we please. Language of the people who say we are sacrificing and worshiping to please God. Yet, he says, by the mouth of his servant. You wearied me the raw spoken against the prophet tells him what God thinks of them and they astonishment and impertinence look into his face and say we don't see this at all. Translated into the language of the New Testament, having performed of godliness. They deny the power, I'm convinced that this is what the majority of people not of the world at large, but in the churches of our lander thinking when they think about God. I don't consider themselves a religious on the contrary, they consider themselves religious after altering charter probably give offerings. All that is voluntary. Why anybody is right with God let something come into their lives that they don't like. But the moves a job romance go sour, but sickness or death affect a close friend or family member or let them get sick themselves. What happens they turn on God and they say how could God do such a thing to me and they betray their secularism, Morgan mentions that verse having the form of godliness and denying the power it comes. I'm sure you know the third chapter of second Timothy in which the apostle Paul is writing about the evils of the end time we read that and it seems to be a dreadful. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and wholly without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, lovers of the good, treacherous, rash conceded lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. You want a commentary on that read it in time magazine or Newsweek any week at all. All we give modern terms to it.

Lovers of themselves, we call it the new narcissism time at a cover story on it some time ago, lovers of money, materialism, boastful, and proud arrogance abusive. We call it letting it all hang out, disobedient to their parents generation gap unholy. All we call it the new morality, but it's the same thing all of those things are illustrated in our culture. The really disturbing thing about that paragraph from second Timothy, is that having describe all of the things with the thinker so horrible in the world all concludes by saying, having a form of godliness but denying the power. In other words, he saying these things are found not merely in the world, but in the so-called church see now why Malachi is so vivid as a mirror of our age shows the secular world and that is true only shows the church and that is even more true above all Malachi is a mirror of our hearts, but we want to look at each of these things that God chooses the people log and see how he answers their objection. Let me close by showing just how he answers the first God says I have loved you and the people respond how have you loved us. God calls attention to Esau Jacob's brother Esau, who was the founder of Edom and this is what God says was not Esau Jacob's brother yet. I love Jacob, but Esau I have hated and I've turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. Edom may say though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins. But this is what the Lord Almighty says they may build, but I will demolish. It will be called the wicked land people always under the wrath of the Lord. Obadiah spoke about the evils of Edom. He's showed the pride of this nation and gave an example of their un-brotherly conduct for the citizens of Jerusalem and the day of their misfortune that he prophesied the judgment of God upon them, apparently by this point in history. The judgment is come. Esau has been overrun the people up and scattered, but now God speaks to say thank judgment will be permanent and scattered, but they will not come back. I have been overthrown and they will never be able to rebuild. This is not Egypt is not Babylon. This is Edom, populated by the descendents of Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, both of whom were the sons of a good Jewish father and a good Jewish mother. Furthermore, within the line of the problem.

Yet God says I have chosen to act in one way, in the case of Edom punishing them justly for their sins, and without hope of restoration, I have chosen my grace back quite a different way in regard to Jacob punishing them for their sins, restoring them to the position in which you, the people presently enjoy your say to me how have you loved me, say to me, how was your favor saying God replies. The very fact that you are living where you are living the very fact that you're in the land in which you are living the very fact that you have the temple that you have the law to have all the benefits of the covenant are evidence of the fact that I love you and that I have always loved you and that I will always love you. You say, don't ever find yourself in the position of complaining to God telling God how would you love me. The fact that you're here today not in hell is evidence of the fact that God is love. The fact that you have heard the gospel not been like so many of the heathen who perished in ignorance without ever hearing it as an example of the way in which God loves you fact that you know Christian friends care for you and witness to you and pray for you is evidence of the fact that God loves Josť how if you loved us, say, how may I love you then live in a way that reflects the love of God to this sinful world. Let us pray father. It is hard for us to understand how it can be. Yet we know that it is people who have experienced your love and so many and so great ways become callous to your grace and treat even the smallest setbacks as an offense and so turn away in secular criticism and unbelief. Father granted it might not be so boss rather than all things we might be able to praise you. We might be able to say, as Job said, the Lord gives the Lord takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. So glorify you with our lips and with our lives to the praise of the glory of your great grace. We pray in Jesus. You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals lines of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. The alliance ministry includes the Bible study are featuring Dr. James voice every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Rieke and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Gray Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a full list of radio stations carrying our programs or to make a contribution. Please contact us by calling toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888. You can also write the alliance at Box 2000, Philadelphia, PA 19103 work, you can visit us online at ask for your free resource catalog featuring books, audio teachings, commentaries, booklets, videos, and a wealth of other materials from outstanding reformed teachers and theologians, including Donald Barnhouse, James Boyce and Philip Rieke. Thank you again for your

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