Malachi 1:1

The burden of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. Much of the work of the Old Testament prophets involved a serious strain on feeling, and may appropriately be figured as a "burden" which they were called to bear. A very large proportion of it consists of denunciations, declarations of swiftly coming and overwhelming Divine judgments. Those prophets were, in fact, raised up to meet a condition of society and national life of which God disapproved, and by which God was dishonoured. It should never be forgotten that the prophets belong to the Israelite my, and that was not God's ideal of government for his people. It brought and perils the significance of which the prophets were to declare. Malachi's is the last prophet voice of the Old Testament times. After him a great prophetic silence fell on the land. No direct utterance came from God for some three hundred years, until John the Baptist appeared. Nothing is certainly known concerning this Prophet Malachi. He is, indeed, only a name, and our interest lies entirely in his message. His name means, "The Messenger of Jehovah," and it calls us to attend to the message rather than to the speaker. We do know something of the times in which he lived, and we can understand what would be the burden of a Jehovah prophet at such a time. After Nehemiah had been working for some twelve years at the moral reformation of the people of Jersualem and Judea, he was recalled to Persia; and immediately on his departure the old evils which he had stoutly resisted came back like a food. In spite of the presence of Ezra in Jerusalem, it was seen that a reformation enforced by the civil power, rather than as the fruit of individual conviction, had no permanent vitality. When Nehemiah's back was turned, "the tithes due to the temple, the Levites, and the priests were not delivered, and the greatest distress was thus caused to all those who depended on them for maintenance. The choristers, the guards of the gates, and the ordinary Levites alike, were compelled to go back to their homes, and cultivate their fields for a living. Public worship was thus interrupted, and the temple, forsaken by its ministers, was neglected by the people. Nor was the refusal to pay tithes the only sign of an altered spirit. The sabbath was profaned, both in town and country, wine presses were busy in its sacred hours, and the roads and fields were dotted with the workers taking sheaves to the barn on their heavily laden asses. Jerusalem itself was disturbed by a sabbath fair, to which loads of wine, grapes, figs, and much else were carried in during sacred hours. After all the professed zeal to put an end to mixed marriages, things were rapidly drifting to almost a worse condition than of old. The very priests had rapidly lost their high tone. Their irreverence, indifference, and worldliness shocked the thoughtful. Everything that Ezra and Nehemiah had effected was well nigh undone." The Prophet Malachi had the "burden" laid upon him of recalling both priests and people to their duties. And this he did partly by vigorous denunciations of surrounding evils, and partly by anticipations of the times of Messiah. The Coming One would surely prove to be a stern Rebuker of national sin.

I. THE PROPHET'S MESSAGE WAS A BURDEN TO HIMSELF. Denunciations of wrong doing and wrong doers lose their true force when those who utter them enjoy their work. Then they put into them a bitter tone, which makes them ungod-like messages. Stern things have still to be spoken for God, but they must be spoken with pathos in the tone, and tears ready to start. No man can deliver a message of judgment aright, unless he feels it to be a burden.

II. THE PROPHET'S MESSAGE SHOULD BE A BURDEN TO THOSE ADDRESSED. A burden of holy concern. It should set them upon grave self-searching. It should burden them with anxiety about their sins, and with earnest efforts to put sin away. If it was not taken as a burden in that sense, it would become a burden as bringing upon them full, unrelieved, Divine judgments.

III. THE PROPHET'S MESSAGE MAY BE THOUGHT OF AS A BURDEN TO GOD. "Judgment is his strange work;" "In all their affliction he was afflicted;" "Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked?" We are permitted to think that it troubles God to punish his people. He is burdened by the messages which our sin compels him to send. - R.T.

The burden of the Word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
Some burdens are self-imposed; some laid upon us by our fellow-men; some by God. The prophets felt that the Word of God was a burden upon their souls.

I. IT WAS A BURDEN OF DIVINE REVELATION. Words reveal. A true word is a manifestation of the soul. God was known by the utterances of these inspired men. His Word is now His choicest revelation. His Word is true, faithful, precious, enlightening, saving, eternal.

II. IT IS A BURDEN BORNE BY THE HOLIEST OF MEN. God speaks through men. Many holy men now feel that the Word of God is in them. This burden should be borne by these holy men, humbly, prayerfully, thankfully, and conscientiously.

III. IT IS A BURDEN BORNE FOR THE WORLD. God's Word must not be hidden. Truth heard in the inner sanctuary of the soul must be proclaimed upon the housetops. God's Word is for all nations. Whoever has it, has this burden for the world, He must carry it fearfully, distinctly, honestly, and unadulteratedly. Let the churches pray much for those who bear the burden of the Word. Often they are oppressed with their responsibilities.

(W. Osborne Lilley.)

The prophets of old were no triflers. They carried a burden. The servants of God mean business; they have something to carry, worth carrying. Those who speak for God must not speak lightly. God's true servants, who are burdened with His Word, right willingly and cheerfully carry that burden. We bear a burden indeed, but we should be sorry not to bear it.

I. WHY IS THE WORD OF THE LORD A BURDEN TO HIM THAT SPEAKETH IT? It is a burden because it is the Word of the Lord.

1. The Word of the Lord becomes a burden in the reception of it. No man can preach the Gospel aright until he has had it borne into his own soul with overwhelming energy. True preaching is artesian, it wells up from the great depths of the soul.

2. The Word of God is a burden in the delivery of it. He that finds it easy to preach, will find it hard work to give an account of his preaching at the last great day. To speak aright, God's Word beneath the Divine influence is, in the speaking as well as in the getting of the message, the burden of the Lord.

3. When we have preached, the Gospel becomes a burden in after consideration. If God sends any of us to do good to our fellow-men, and to speak in His name, the souls of men will be a perpetual burden to us.

II. IT IS A BURDEN BECAUSE OF WHAT IT IS. What is it that the true servant of God has to bear and preach?

1. It is the rebuke of sin. If a man bears the burden of the Word of the Lord, he speaks most to his people upon the evil of which they are most guilty. Every true preacher must be careless of man's esteem, and speak faithfully; but this is a burden to one of a tender spirit.

2. The Word of the Lord gives a rebuff to human pride. The doctrines of the Gospel seem shaped on purpose, among other objects, to bring into contempt all human glory. So human nature does not like our message. And such preaching becomes the burden of the Lord.

3. The true preacher has to come into contact with the vanity of human intellect. The things of God are hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed unto babes; and the wise and prudent are indignant at this act of Divine sovereignty. To face false science with the "polishness of preaching," and to set up the Cross in the teeth of learned self-sufficiency, is a burden from the Lord.

4. The most heavy burden is that which concerns the future. We are heavy at heart for the many who will not turn to God, but persist in destroying their own souls for ever.

III. IT IS A BURDEN BECAUSE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR BEARING IT TO YOU. Suppose that we do not preach the Gospel, and warn the wicked man, so that he turn not from his iniquity, what then? "He shall perish, but his blood will I require at thy hand." What will my Lord say to me if I am unfaithful to you? Then it becomes a great burden to me to preach the Gospel when I think of what those lose who will not have it.

IV. IT IS OFTEN THE BURDEN OF THE LORD, BECAUSE OF THE WAY IN WHICH MEN TREAT THE WORD OF GOD. Some trifle with it. The preoccupation of human minds makes it such a burden when we are in earnest to reach the heart and win the soul. Quite a number hear with considerable attention, but forget all that they hear. The sermon is all done with when they have done hearing it. There are even some that hear to ridicule. The preacher is in anguish to save a soul, and they are thinking about how he pronounces a word.

V. IT IS A BURDEN WHEN THE PREACHER REMEMBERS THAT HE WILL HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT. There will come a time when it will be said, "Preacher, give an account of your stewardship." Remember the great Lord of all true Gospel preachers bore a far heavier burden than we. Since it is a burden in itself, I ask you not to make it any heavier. You add to my burden, if you do not aid me in the Lord's work. But the greatest increase of my burden comes from those who do not receive the Gospel at all.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Esau, Jacob, Malachi
Edom, Jerusalem
Burden, Malachi, Mal'achi, Oracle
1. Malachi complains of Israel's unkindness;
2. of their irreverence and profaneness.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Malachi 1:1

     1421   oracles
     1690   word of God
     5408   messenger

Blemished Offerings
'Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of Hosts.'--MALACHI i. 8. A word of explanation may indicate my purpose in selecting this, I am afraid, unfamiliar text. The Prophet has been vehemently rebuking a characteristic mean practice of the priests, who were offering maimed and diseased animals in sacrifice. They were probably dishonest as well as mean, because the worshippers would bring sound beasts, and the priests, for their own profit,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Dialogue with God
'A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a Father, where is Mine honour? and if I be a master, where is My fear? saith the Lord of Hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My Name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised Thy Name? 7. Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar. And ye say, Wherein have we polluted Thee?'--MALACHI i. 6, 7. A charactistic of this latest of the prophets is the vivacious dialogue of which our text affords one example. God speaks and the people question
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"Whereby we cry, Abba, Father." All that know any thing of religion, must needs know and confess that there is no exercise either more suitable to him that professeth it, or more needful for him, than to give himself to the exercise of prayer. But that which is confessed by all, and as to the outward performance gone about by many, I fear is yet a mystery sealed up from us, as the true and living nature of it. There is much of it expressed here in few words, "whereby we cry, Abba,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Counter-Reformation
For more than thirty years the new religious movement continued to spread with alarming rapidity. Nation after nation either fell away from the centre of unity or wavered as to the attitude that should be adopted towards the conflicting claims of Rome, Wittenberg, and Geneva, till at last it seemed not unlikely that Catholicism was to be confined within the territorial boundaries of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. That the world was well prepared for such an outburst has been shown already,[1] but it
Rev. James MacCaffrey—History of the Catholic Church, Renaissance to French Revolution

Whether the Gifts are Set Down by Isaias in their Order of Dignity?
Objection 1: It would seem that the gifts are not set down by Isaias in their order of dignity. For the principal gift is, seemingly, that which, more than the others, God requires of man. Now God requires of man fear, more than the other gifts: for it is written (Dt. 10:12): "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou fear the Lord thy God?" and (Malachi 1:6): "If . . . I be a master, where is My fear?" Therefore it seems that fear, which is mentioned last, is not
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether God Can be Feared?
Objection 1: It would seem that God cannot be feared. For the object of fear is a future evil, as stated above ([2457]FS, Q[41], AA[2],3). But God is free of all evil, since He is goodness itself. Therefore God cannot be feared. Objection 2: Further, fear is opposed to hope. Now we hope in God. Therefore we cannot fear Him at the same time. Objection 3: Further, as the Philosopher states (Rhet. ii, 5), "we fear those things whence evil comes to us." But evil comes to us, not from God, but from ourselves,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether a Man May Make Oblations of Whatever He Lawfully Possesses?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man may not make oblations of whatever he lawfully possesses. According to human law [*Dig. xii, v, de Condict. ob. turp. vel iniust. caus. 4] "the whore's is a shameful trade in what she does but not in what she takes," and consequently what she takes she possesses lawfully. Yet it is not lawful for her to make an oblation with her gains, according to Dt. 23:18, "Thou shalt not offer the hire of a strumpet . . . in the house of the Lord thy God." Therefore it is
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether God Reprobates any Man?
Objection 1: It seems that God reprobates no man. For nobody reprobates what he loves. But God loves every man, according to (Wis. 11:25): "Thou lovest all things that are, and Thou hatest none of the things Thou hast made." Therefore God reprobates no man. Objection 2: Further, if God reprobates any man, it would be necessary for reprobation to have the same relation to the reprobates as predestination has to the predestined. But predestination is the cause of the salvation of the predestined. Therefore
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Of the Popish Mass. How it not Only Profanes, but Annihilates the Lord's Supper.
1. The chief of all the abominations set up in opposition to the Lord's Supper is the Papal Mass. A description of it. 2. Its impiety is five-fold. 1. Its intolerable blasphemy in substituting priests to him the only Priest. Objections of the Papists answered. 3. Impiety of the Mass continued. 2. It overthrows the cross of Christ by setting up an altar. Objections answered. 4. Other objections answered. 5. Impiety of the Mass continued. 3. It banishes the remembrance of Christ's death. It crucifies
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

If any one Shall Teach that the House of God and the Assemblies Held Therein...
If any one shall teach that the house of God and the assemblies held therein are to be despised, let him be anathema. Notes. Ancient Epitome of Canon V. Whoso styles the house of God contemptible, let him be anathema. This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratian's Decretum, Pars I., Dist. xxx., c. x. The commentators find nothing to say upon the canon, and in fact the despising of the worship of God's true church is and always has been so common a sin, that it hardly calls for comment;
Philip Schaff—The Seven Ecumenical Councils

Excursus on the Word Prospherein .
(Dr. Adolph Harnack: Hist. of Dogma [Eng. Tr.] Vol. I. p. 209.) The idea of the whole transaction of the Supper as a sacrifice, is plainly found in the Didache, (c. 14), in Ignatius, and above all, in Justin (I. 65f.) But even Clement of Rome presupposes it, when (in cc. 40-44) he draws a parallel between bishops and deacons and the Priests and Levites of the Old Testament, describing as the chief function of the former (44.4) prospherein ta dora. This is not the place to enquire whether the first
Philip Schaff—The Seven Ecumenical Councils

Reverence in Prayer
"Lord, teach us to pray."--Luke xi. 1. "Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee or accept thy person? saith the Lord of Hosts."--Mal. i. 8. IF we were summoned to dine, or to any other audience, with our sovereign, with what fear and trembling should we prepare ourselves for the ordeal! Our fear at the prospect before us would take away all our pride, and all our pleasure, in the great honour that had come to us. And how careful we should be to prepare ourselves, in every possible
Alexander Whyte—Lord Teach Us To Pray

An Appendix to the Beatitudes
His commandments are not grievous 1 John 5:3 You have seen what Christ calls for poverty of spirit, pureness of heart, meekness, mercifulness, cheerfulness in suffering persecution, etc. Now that none may hesitate or be troubled at these commands of Christ, I thought good (as a closure to the former discourse) to take off the surmises and prejudices in men's spirits by this sweet, mollifying Scripture, His commandments are not grievous.' The censuring world objects against religion that it is difficult
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments.' Deut 27: 9, 10. What is the duty which God requireth of man? Obedience to his revealed will. It is not enough to hear God's voice, but we must obey. Obedience is a part of the honour we owe to God. If then I be a Father, where is my honour?' Mal 1: 6. Obedience carries in it the life-blood of religion. Obey the voice of the Lord
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity Paul's Thanks and Prayers for Churches.
Text: Philippians 1, 3-11. 3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy, 5 for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; 6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Whether those to whom Christ's Birth was Made Known were Suitably Chosen?
Objection 1: It would seem that those to whom Christ's birth was made known were not suitably chosen. For our Lord (Mat. 10:5) commanded His disciples, "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles," so that He might be made known to the Jews before the Gentiles. Therefore it seems that much less should Christ's birth have been at once revealed to the Gentiles who "came from the east," as stated Mat. 2:1. Objection 2: Further, the revelation of Divine truth should be made especially to the friends of God,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Triumph Over Death and the Grave
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. T he Christian soldier may with the greatest propriety, be said to war a good warfare (I Timothy 1:18) . He is engaged in a good cause. He fights under the eye of the Captain of his salvation. Though he be weak in himself, and though his enemies are many and mighty, he may do that which in other soldiers
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Healing the Centurion's Servant.
(at Capernaum.) ^A Matt. VIII. 1, 5-13; ^C Luke VII. 1-10. ^c 1 After he had ended all his sayings in the ears of the people, ^a 1 And when he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. ^c he entered into Capernaum. [Jesus proceeded from the mountain to Capernaum, which was now his home, or headquarters. The multitudes which are now mentioned for the third time were not wearied by his sermon, and so continued to follow him. Their presence showed the popularity of Jesus, and also
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Holy City; Or, the New Jerusalem:
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Covenanting Predicted in Prophecy.
The fact of Covenanting, under the Old Testament dispensations, being approved of God, gives a proof that it was proper then, which is accompanied by the voice of prophecy, affording evidence that even in periods then future it should no less be proper. The argument for the service that is afforded by prophecy is peculiar, and, though corresponding with evidence from other sources, is independent. Because that God willed to make known truth through his servants the prophets, we should receive it
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Letter xvi to Rainald, Abbot of Foigny
To Rainald, Abbot of Foigny Bernard declares to him how little he loves praise; that the yoke of Christ is light; that he declines the name of father, and is content with that of brother. 1. In the first place, do not wonder if titles of honour affright me, when I feel myself so unworthy of the honours themselves; and if it is fitting that you should give them to me, it is not expedient for me to accept them. For if you think that you ought to observe that saying, In honour preferring one another
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

The Gospel Feast
"When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?"--John vi. 5. After these words the Evangelist adds, "And this He said to prove him, for He Himself knew what He would do." Thus, you see, our Lord had secret meanings when He spoke, and did not bring forth openly all His divine sense at once. He knew what He was about to do from the first, but He wished to lead forward His disciples, and to arrest and
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

The Justice of God
The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one entire essence. Well, then, concerning God's justice. Deut 32:4. Just and right is he.' Job 37:23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

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