Q & A: Silent Treatment Prelude – Malachi Introduction

The following are suggested answers for the Message Based Discussion Questions for the message posted on May 20, 2013.  These will hopefully begin the thought process, but not replace the thought process.  How would you answer the questions?

Silent Treatment Prelude
Malachi Introduction
(May 19, 2013)
 

Why is there divine silence after Malachi?  Malachi 2:17           

They asked:

1:2 In what way have You loved us?
1:6 In what way have we despised Your name?
1:7 In what way have we defiled You?
1:9 But now will you not entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us?  Where’s our blessing?
1:12-13 Oh, what a weariness! the assemblies and sacrifices…
2:13-14 you cover the altar of the Lord with tears..For what reason?
2:17 In what way have we wearied Him?
3:8 In what way have we robbed You?
3:13 What have we spoken against You?
3:14 What profit is it that we have kept His charge?           

Today, you ought to ask:

1:2  Do I experience God’s love for me?
1:6  Do I treat God’s name as holy?
1:7  Do I approach God with reverence, awe and holiness?
1:9  Do I ask for blessing, when I am not in fellowship with Him because of sin?
1:13 Do I say, how tiresome it is to assemble for church?
2:13-14 Do I grumble about my situation and not trust God’s sovereignty?
2:17 Do I go through religious rituals without passion?
3:8   Do I keep from the Lord my time, talents, and treasures?
3:13 Do I make light of God and grumble or blame-shift?
3:14 Do I act like obedience is a duty, rather than a joyous response?

 

1)      Israel is indifferent to God’s love     Malachi 1
2)      Israel is indifferent to God’s law     Malachi 2
3)      Israel is indifferent to God’s message     Malachi 3
4)      Israel is indifferent to the Day of the Lord     Malachi 4

           

1)      Author – Malachi – “My Messenger.”

2)      The Religious Setting – Israel was in the pits.  While the Lord reached down to pull Israel out, Israel said, “We’re not in a pit.”

·         Israel was indifferent, rather than eagerly waiting: Religiously 1:6-10; 2:17; Morally 2:11-16; Socially 3:5; Materially 3:8-10
·         Failure to remember God’s covenant1:2-5; 4:4; cf.  Deut. 8:3-14

3)      Christ in Malachi:

·         “Great King”   Mal. 1:14
·         “The Messenger of the Covenant” Mal. 3:1
·         “The Sun of Righteousness” Mal. 4:2

 

Respond in awe to God’s Word or hear His silence.

 

Message Based Discussion Questions 

1)      How does it make you feel when someone you love gives you the silent treatment?

Digging Deeper:

2)      What was the problem in the church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22)?  How is it the same as Israel in the time of Malachi?

3)      How would you describe how people communicate without saying anything?  What do the following passages say about non-verbal communication (Gen. 3:7-10; 4:5-6; 40:6-7; Josh 7:6; 1 Sam. 18:4; 1 King 9:3-4; 21:4; 1 John 3:17)? What do you think people are saying to God by their actions?

4)      How would you describe Israel in the time of Malachi religiously (Mal. 1:6-10); morally (Mal. 2:11-16); socially (Mal. 3:5); and economically (Mal. 3:8-10)?

Making application from the message to life:

5)      What was God’s message through Jeremiah to Israel in Jeremiah 14:13 – 15:6? Do you suppose God has a point or line that when crossed He says, “Enough!”?  What discernment should that give us in life application?

6)      How do you think USA would fare related to a message like Malachi?  What do you think would be said if USA were a biblically chosen people by God?

7)      What are spiritual indicators of “indifference” or “anticipation”?

 

Message Based Discussion Questions
1)      How does it make you feel when someone you love gives you the silent treatment?

a)      “What is going on with their life?”

b)      “Did I do something to offend them?”

c)      “I wonder if they are having a bad day?”

d)     “Did I forget something?”

e)      “I wonder when we can talk?”
 

Digging Deeper: 

2)      What was the problem in the church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22)?  How is it the same as Israel in the time of Malachi?

a)      Laodicea was indifferent toward the Lord.

i)        They thought they were doing well.

ii)      They thought they had their act together and were well off.

iii)    They didn’t know their standing before God.

b)      Laodicea didn’t realize they were living in their own standards, independent of the Lord.

i)        They were living in denial of the Lord’s holiness.

ii)      They were comfortable with their own level of holy achievement.

iii)    They needed to seek after the Lord’s face and acquire what He wanted for them.

iv)    They didn’t realize God’s attitude of wanting to spew them out of His mouth.

v)      They went through the religious rituals without thinking about them and without dependency on the Lord.
 

3)      How would you describe how people communicate without saying anything?  What do the following passages say about non-verbal communication (Gen. 3:7-10; 4:5-6; 40:6-7; Josh 7:6; 1 Sam. 18:4; 1 King 19:3-4; 21:4; 1 John 3:17)? What do you think people are saying to God by their actions?

a)      Our tone of voice and non-verbal communication is far more powerful than the content of our words.  The medium of communication is more powerful than the actual words. That is why texting or email can be dangerous – you might be thinking your words are conveyed politely, but someone who thinks otherwise, might read your words as from someone who is angry.

b)     The following passages communicate through non-verbals:

i)        Gen. 3:7-10- hiding = conviction of sin and fear of the Lord

ii)      Gen. 4:5-6 – anger = Cain’s countenance had fallen.  He didn’t get his way and was mad at God for not accepting what he thought would be a good sacrifice.

iii)    Gen. 40:6-7 – sad countenances of the baker and cup bearer.  They had dreams that they did not understand.  They hadn’t said anything yet.

iv)    Josh 7:6 – tore clothes = he knew something had gone wrong and tearing of the clothes is a sign of repentance.  He was seeking answers from the Lord.

v)      1 Sam. 18:4 – Jonathan gave David his armor = this was a sign of genuine friendship and protection.

vi)    1 King 19:3-4 – Elijah ran, because he was afraid of Jezebel. He had just stood up against 450 prophets, but he ran from one woman.  After victory, there is vulnerability for defeat.  Elijah ran in fear – defeat.

vii)  1 King 21:4 – Ahab laid down and turned his head away and would not eat = he was full of self-pity, because he didn’t get his way.

viii)            1 John 3:17- giving to the needy = sign of God’s love moving through the believer.

c)      Our actions are more powerful than our words.
 

4)      How would you describe Israel in the time of Malachi religiously (Mal. 1:6-10); morally (Mal. 2:11-16); socially (Mal. 3:5); and economically (Mal. 3:8-10)?

a)      Religiously (Mal. 1:6-10) – They questioned God and were wondering if religion was worth it.

b)      Morally (Mal. 2:11-16) – They dealt treacherously in their marriages by infidelity and lack of oneness with their mates.  They were failing to raise up a godly offspring.

c)      Socially (Mal. 3:5) – They were involved with sorcerers, perjurers and adulterers, but would not reach out to the widows and aliens.

d)     Economically (Mal. 3:8-10) – They didn’t think what they gave really mattered.  They didn’t think the lack of giving was actually robbing what belonged to God.
 

Making application from the message to life:
 

5)      What was God’s message through Jeremiah to Israel in Jeremiah 14:13 – 15:6? Do you suppose God has a point or line that when crossed He says, “Enough!”?  What discernment should that give us in life application?

a)      I’ve heard enough.  Your tears don’t matter to me.  Judgment is coming and I will not stop it.

b)      There is a line that when crossed, He says, “Enough,” and will impose divine discipline or divine punishment.

c)      We ought to walk in the fear of the Lord and not trust ourselves. 

6)      How do you think USA would fare related to a message like Malachi?  What do you think would be said if USA were a biblically chosen people by God?

a)      The USA is a mirror to Israel right now.

b)      If the USA was biblically chosen as a people of God, it should prepare itself for silence from God, that is removal of God’s Word from the country.  That is going on in all areas of life. 

7)      What are spiritual indicators of “indifference” or “anticipation”?

a)      Spiritual indicators of indifference are:

i)        Attending church, but not singing.

ii)      Attending church, but not giving, serving, leading, teaching, helping.

iii)    Living one way on Sunday and another way the rest of the week.

iv)    Taking a Bible to church, but not reading it at home.

v)      Taking your family to church, but not leading the family at home.

vi)    Looking spiritual, but not enjoying the presence of the Lord.

vii)  A Bible that looks new, but is ten years old.

b)      Spiritual indicators of anticipation are:

i)        Preparing for corporate worship beginning on Monday.

ii)      Willingness and readiness to give, lead, serve and help at church.

iii)    A spiritually passionate life all through the week.

iv)    A regular devotional life at home throughout the week.

v)      Humbly recognizing the inability to walk spiritually apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

vi)    Leading your family at home into Scripture throughout the week as well as on Sunday.

vii)  Passionate about the presence of the Lord (Ps. 16:11).

1 thought on “Q & A: Silent Treatment Prelude – Malachi Introduction

  1. Great topic Pastor, I always look forward to the minor Prophets What a great example of human nature and to always question and never listen!May we study the book of Joel in the future?Randy Greb

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