Malachi 2:17-3:6, The Lord of Hosts...the Immutable, Supreme Judge God.

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III.  The Supreme Judge God    v5

We read in verse 5, ““Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.”  He will be judge and star witness.  We see this with more clarity in Revelation 20:11-15.  John wrote:

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Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

The Lord of Hosts is the perfectly just, purposefully refining, supreme judge God.  He is also the immutable God.

IV.   The Immutable God    v6

Malachi points out in verse 6, “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”  Notice that what Malachi goes back to that keeps the sons of Jacob from being consumed here is not God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness or patience, but His immutability.  God’s immutability is simply the truth that God does not change.  Wayne Grudem calls it God’s unchangeableness and defines it as follows:  God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations.  James describes God’s immutability this way:  “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).  God cannot change!  In the words of Frances Turriten, “He can not be changed for the better because He is the best, nor for the worse because He would cease to be the most perfect.”

Their comfort was found in the fact that God does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  How does God’s immutability save them from complete and final judgement?  It has to do with God’s pre-determined counsel and covenant with Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  Consider the following statement by Stephen Charnock:   “If he had a beginning he may have an end; and if he had a change in his nature, he might have in his counsels; but since all the resolves of God are as himself is, eternal, and all the promises of God are the fruits of his counsel, therefore they cannot be changed; if he should change them for the better, he would not have been eternally wise, to know what was best; if for the worse, he had not been eternally good or just.  Men may break their promises, because they are made without foresight, but God, that inhabits eternity, foreknows all things that shall be done under the sun, as if they had been then acting before him; and nothing can intervene or work a change in his resolves; because the least circumstances were eternally foreseen by Him.”  Do you see what good news the immutability of God was for them?  They deserved destruction.  They had broken God’s covenant.  They had gone the way of Edom.  But God, in eternally good foreknowledge had chosen them in Abraham, Issac, and Jacob!  And since God is a God who does not change, who does not break covenant, He would not consume them.  So, their glorious hope was rooted in the immutability of The Lord of Hosts.

The Lord of Hosts is the perfectly just, purposefully refining, immutable, supreme judge, and that is our  glorious hope!  We have a perfectly just God who will finally deal with sin, sinners, and enemies of the cross.  We have a purposefully refining God who, like a refiners fire, melts away the dross, the masks, the hypocrisy, and exposes us for who we are and how we are.  We have a God who will judge without partiality, finally, and supremely.  And He will not change.  He is immutable.  

So how can that be hopeful?  How can we stand before this God?  The way we can stand before this God is Jesus Christ…and the good news is, God will never change His mind about Jesus.  He will always be faithful to Jesus, and if we are in Jesus, He will be faithful to us!  If we have Christ, we are safe now and when we stand before the supreme judge himself. In the courtroom of heaven, Jesus’ blood will be our plea and we can rest in His immutable faithfulness to us in Jesus Christ.  That is our glorious hope! 

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