Malachi 3:7-12, The Lord of Hosts...Return to Me.

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Please take time today to join us in praying for the unreached people group featured on the left below.  If you are interested in learning more about one of the nations they live in, you can explore statistics and more at the link on the right below.  We also want to encourage you to open your Bible and join us as we learn from God's Word below.  Please pray, read, mediate, and share!  

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We started studying the book of Malachi back on April 15.  Immediately, when I announced that we would be going through Malachi I had people say, “so you are going to preach on giving?”  Well, I hope we have seen that this book of Malachi is about much more than giving.  It is about the Lord of Hosts!  The God of Angel Armies.  

 

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We have been learning about that Lord of Hosts and how he relates to us, and we to him.  Today, as we get to the passage on giving, we learn even more about this great God.  We will see that The Lord of Hosts mercifully calls us to return to Him, generously provides for us so that we can release to Him, and graciously pours out blessings that we can receive from Him so that we can show His glory to the nations.

Let’s look at this together.  

I.  Return to Me    v7

We see in verse 7, God calling the people of Malachi to return to Him.  We read, “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?”  The Lord of Hosts tells this people, return to me.  This is not a unique command from this gracious, merciful, long-suffering God of steadfast love.  We see Him issue this command in Zechariah 1:3, “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.”  The Lord of Hosts is the same God who issues the same type of commands in the New Testament.  We read in James 4:8-10, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  

The Lord of Hosts tells this people, return to me.  But it gets even better.  He issues a promise with that command.  You return to me and I will return to you.  Jesus tells a parable that magnifies the hope of this promise.  

And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:11-24)

Return to me, and I will return to you!  Return to me and I will run to you!  Return to me and I will receive you to myself and rejoice over you.  This leads to the obvious question:  “But you say, How shall we return?”  God, in essence says, I am glad you asked.  He answers in verses 8-10.  We will see that tomorrow.  Until then...

 

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