There is no answer. But the question of our text has often a nobler origin, and comes from the depths of a troubled heart. Return unto Me - The beginning of our return is from the preventing grace of God. We may now take up the language of the Prophet, and say, how is the gold become dim! From mine ordinances — Which either directed my worship, or your dealings one with another. — You persist to justify yourselves, and inquire what it is you are to repent of? Sin put away, God and man are one. In any case we are speaking about the second half of the 5 th century BC (probably 450 - 425 BC). Robbing God is also permitting anything to have stronger power over us than His will. But there has always been a mighty propensity to break through this great law. But let us look at the question in a larger sense, and see how we may be guilty of this terrible crime. 1. What would become of a world which had lost its own love and its fear, which neither loved the Redeemer nor feared the pains of hell? I examine eachverse, one by one, in four versions of the Old Testament. And all nations shall call you blessed; for you shall be a desirable land, saith the LordAlmighty. It may be, that there shall be no general habitual sense and acknowledgment of His sovereign claims; no feeling that all does so belong. What does this verse really mean? Suffice it to say that tithing is part of the Mosaic Law, it is not part of the New Testament model of giving. "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". BibliographyBenson, Joseph. And when that is done the basis on which love rests is gone also. 4. But how are we gone away? "I am not changed from good; ye are not changed from evil."[21]. The man, lying broken at the foot of the cliff down which he has fallen, and seeing the brightness of God far above, has his heart racked with the question: How am I, with lame limbs, to struggle back to the heights above? Even from the days of your fathers, ye are gone away from mine ordinances] The more to magnify his own mercy (by a miracle, whereof they had hitherto subsisted, by an extraordinary prop of his love, and longsuffering), God sets forth here their utter unworthiness of any such free favour, by a double aggravation of their sins. Whether any one of the wordsdefraud, insult, hide up from, or rob is used, it still means that the peoplehave been withholding something from God. In pleasure He must be “the spring of all our joys, the life of our delights,” and then we shall take no harm whatever pleasure we engage in. The love and fear of God can die; but love and fear of something will remain. “Wherein shall we return?” This was either in words--“We are not conscious of guilt, show us wherein we have offended.” Or it is the language of their hearts and lives. It is not so much individual acts of sin but the going away in heart and spirit from our Father God which describes the inmost essence of our true condition, and is itself the source of all our acts of sin. . It may lay a powerful temptation in the way of men’s souls. A man is a bad man who withholds from God His due. ...; and I will banish the locusts from you, so that they will not destroy the yield ofyour soil; and your vines in the field shall no longer miscarry -- said the Lord of Hosts. Christians will say that Jesus was ouronce-and-for-all-time sacrifice. Is not man-worship one of the most striking characteristics of the age in which we live? I. 1. the words imply distance from God. All robbery of God proceeds from our failure to acknowledge the one great fact of God’s sovereignty. To a pious mind, it is an affecting and melancholy thing to consider what a conspiracy seems ever going on to shut God out of His own world, to deprive Him of His rights in the homage which is due to Him from His creatures. The one he loves is a very lucky person considering they have the most amazing person to live. A From Israel"s early history the people had deviated from the straight path that Yahweh had prescribed for them to walk in the Mosaic Covenant. The import of what is said here is, — that men are not miserable through the unjust rigour of God, but always through their own sins. III. Referring to particular ritual observances. and have not kept them, but transgressed them by observing the traditions of men, Matthew 15:3 so it is an instance of the patience and forbearance of God, that they were not as yet consumed; and of his grace and goodness, that he should address them as follows: Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts; this message was carried to them by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, and by Christ himself, who both preached the doctrine of repentance to this people, Matthew 3:2. "Commentary on Malachi 3:7". Conscience often bars the way to such a plain and unmannerly reply; but there are many who try to cheat God, and who do to some extent cheat themselves, by professing ignorance of the way which would lead them to His heart. We do not at all wonder at the laws in respect to property among men. The blessing which is in God’s return to us. It leads to a sacrificing of substance for shadow. Once again, the people of God had been faithless, breaking their covenant with the Lord. It should be with an eye to the blood of Christ. The Sabbath. 2. Some of us have learned only too well to raise questions about the method of salvation instead of accepting it, and to dabble in theology instead of making sure work of return. The two great commandments stated by Jesus are not kept (Matthew22: 37-40). Such imagine there is no Creating-God; or if there be a God, that nobody can discover anything about Him; and that there is no God-revealed religion. 3. We are all too partial with respect to ourselves. 1905. “Rob God,”--who could ever think of a thing so monstrous? This does not appertain to us; but it is not the only way in which the sin can be committed. It may be applied to every life, and to every piece of work that any of us do. https: 1828. Can love and fear die out of the heart? God gives them a gracious call. And in sorrow He must be our first and only thought; then “grief and fear and care shall fly as clouds before the midday sun.” Will a man rob God? and such who returned, and believed in Christ, and submitted to his ordinances, it was well with them. Do not stand waiting and hesitating, and asking how you must set about the work of repentance, but at once begin exercising yourself in whatever most contradicts the bad tendencies which you cannot help being aware of. The gracious invitation of our text presupposes a state of departure. God further told the people that, if they would return to Him and receive Hisblessings, their prosperity would be seen by other nations. Some tell us that this chargeth on them their sins against negative precepts, as the other charged them with sins against positive precepts; so the whole law was now, and had long been, broken by their fathers and themselves. From the very days of your fathers have you turned away from My laws and have not observedthem. I examine each verse, one by one, in four versions of the Old Testament. It is one thing to confess sin with our mouths, and another thing to cast it out of our hearts. Whatever our work is, we cannot be faithful to God unless we do it as well as we can. I am unchangeable in holiness; ye are unchangeable in perversity.”. The almighty Lord called His people to return to Him with the promise that if they did He would return to them (cf. "Commentary on Malachi 3:7". The fathers of our flesh never cease to long for their prodigal child’s return; and their patient persistence of hope is but brief and broken when contrasted with the infinite long-suffering of the Father of spirits. He increases their condemnation by this circumstance — that they had not lately begun to depart from the right way, but had continued their contumacy for many ages, according to what the apostles, as well as the Prophets in various places, have testified: “Ye uncircumcised in heart, ye have ceased not to resist the Holy Spirit like your fathers.” (Acts 7:51. Atheism robs Him of the glory of His existence; Deism, of the glory of His revelation; Paganism, of the glory of His spirituality and perfections; Mohammedanism, of His exclusive manifestation of Himself through the person and work of His own Son, in regard to the purposes of His grace to our world; Judaism, of the glory of His relationship to His only-begotten and well-beloved Son. God invited thepeople to test Him to see what He would do. There should be conscientious care to form a right honest judgment of what is due, of what belongs to God. It is possible, and the sin has been perpetrated. "E.W. We have said elsewhere that all exhortations would be in vain without a hope of pardon; for when God commands us to return to the right way, our hearts would never be touched, nay, they would on the contrary turn away, had we no hope that he would be reconciled to us. Will a man insult God? Thosewho cannot attend a church may pay it to a televangelist or a charitable organization.Offerings go to such local expenses as a building fund, mortgage payment, Sunday Schoolsupplies, building operation, alms, or missionary fund. "Wherein shall we return ...?" 1905-1909. But I will not multiply proofs, which very often are to be met with, and must be well known. To the weak, afflicted, troubled, unfortunate; yea, to the erring and sinful. Since this turning away had gone on for numerous generations, some of thosementioned probably were included. References to tithes can be found inLeviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Thus, they are no longer God's chosen people. how is the most fine gold changed! There are laws of festivals to be observed (Leviticus 23: 1-44). How couldsuch a promise be refused? I. From the days of your fathers, &c.] q.d. He has hitherto sharply reproved them, because their necks being hard they had need of such correction; for had the Prophet gently and kindly exhorted them, they would either have kicked or have set on him with their horns; be now mitigates his sharpness, not indeed with respect to all, but if there were any healable among the people he meant to try them; and hence he offers them reconciliation with God, as though he had said, “Though God has been in various ways wantonly offended by you, and though you have repudiated his favor, and have become wholly unworthy of being regarded by him, yet return, and he will meet you.”. These three divine utterances taken together cover the whole ground of His speech to us; and, alas! They had disobeyed covenant stipulations. It is in the midst of things belonging to Him that we are conversant, living and acting. Are there no pulpit robbers of God? We therefore teach, as most necessary for these times, the love of God and the fear of God. Yet you rob me. This course the Prophet now pursues, when in the person of God himself he promises pardon, provided the Jews repented. Do we ever talk about having money of our own, forgetting that every mite of it is God’s? Malachi 3:7. 3. Popery corrupts every thing in religion--raising up a rival to God in the pope, a rival to the Bible in tradition, a rival to the Saviour in priests, a rival to the Cross in the crucifix. What a terrible charge the psalmist brings against certain people!--“God is not in all their thoughts.” Unless we are to rob God of His right, He must be in all our thoughts, the great moral Force in all our work and duty, keeping us in fine integrity and honour. They had done nothing to be ashamed of. Return unto me . The nature of the warninginfers that it also applied to future descendants. We have, naturally, an awe of power. The Given Name Malachi. VI. In the matter of consecration. Repentance is that which sets a creature right again, with his face towards God, so that all his desires and expectations are from Him. Or it may be understood in a milder and better meaning, as spoken by a person really in doubt, wishing to repent, but hardly knowing how to begin. Some atheists admit there is a Mind above that which is human, yet they say that the God-mind has no personal sympathy with men. The soul is requickened into newness of life. It is for our sakes. (5) Robbing God’s riches (3:7-12); (6) Reviling God’s grace (3:13-15). Malachi, Malachias, Malache or Mal'achi (/ ˈ m æ l ə k aɪ / (); Hebrew: מַלְאָכִי ‎ ‎, Modern: Malaḵi, Tiberian: Malʾāḵī, "Messenger", see malakh) was the traditional writer of the Book of Malachi, the last book of the Neviim (prophets) section in the Hebrew Bible.No allusion is made to him by Ezra, however, and he does not directly mention the restoration of the temple. Is the interpretation that Christian churches make correct? Since the economy of the country was based on agriculture, the whole populationwould be affected. Is it not fashionable to do so? Explain that a refiner uses fire to heat a metal like silver or gold until it reaches a liquid state. When God touches the heart, sin will become the greatest burden we ever felt. God calls Himself our Father; the word includes His act in giving us our being, His providence which keeps, upholds, and blesses us day by day. “My son, give Me thy heart.” That is the supreme offering. There can be no doubt of that. "Commentary on Malachi 3:7". Deuteronomy 28: 16-68 describes the curses that would fall on those who turnaway from God. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?] The nine hundred millions are not only squandered--they would better be cast into the sea than used as they now are to ruin the souls and bodies of men, to destroy families, and to plague the State. 1. The people, in effect, are saying, "What need do we have to return since we never turned away to begin with?""

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