A Question of God’s Love
April 22, 2018 Speaker: Cameron Barham Series: The Burden of Malachi: God's Unchanging Love for His Unstable People
Scripture: Malachi 1:2–1:5
Key Truth: God’s love for us is unchanging as evidenced in His being merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness, forgiving sin, but being just and protecting His people through judgment.
What is your definition of love? How do you tangibly express it to others?
“God’s love is popularly thought to be a revelation first made in the New Testament, but this is far from the truth. It is implicit from the beginning, and especially from the time of the covenant with Abraham (Gn. 12:1-3; 17:1-8).”
Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction and Commentary
A Declaration and Question of God’s Love:
“The Lord is going to admonish and judge his people because of their sins in various spheres of their lives. But before addressing them with the stipulations and obligations of the law, he confronts them with the gospel: ‘I have loved you.’”
Pieter A. Verhoef, The Books of Haggai and Malachi
Have you ever questioned God’s love for you? What caused (or causes) you to question it? Has God’s love for you ever really changed?
A Tangible Example of God’s Unchanging Love:
“The contrasting fates of Israel and Edom foreshadow the dynamic of the gospel. Sin requires judgment; otherwise, there would be no end to the destructive impulsiveness of an Esau, the manipulative scheming of a Jacob, the unfaithful presumption of an Israel, or the treacherous collaboration of an Edom. But the gospel promises that it is possible to pass through judgment and find restoration on the other side. The restoration of Jacob and of Israel ultimately points beyond them to the gospel, which teaches that final, definitive judgment falls not on deserving sinners like ourselves but on God’s beloved Son.”
Iain M. Duguid and Matthew P. Harmon,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi: Reformed Expository Commentary
How has God tangibly evidenced His love for you?
Malachi 1:2-5 teaches us that God’s love is:
-unchanging toward His people
-displayed in His being merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness, forgiving sin, but being just and protecting His people through judgment
“There can be no doubt about God’s love. He has irrefutably demonstrated it be sending his Son. We then wonder why when we have received the ultimate gift, the church is not vibrant, attracting crowds and being effective in its moral and spiritual impact on our country. Why is there not revival? We must be careful not to fall into the way of thinking that it is because of some deficiency in God’s love. Rather we are to question our response to his love. The fortunes of the church are blighted by the lack of Christ-centeredness in the thinking and acting of those who are in his church. We ought to examine ourselves and expose what warps our thinking and respond with that total self-dedication that flows from recognizing what his love has given to us (Eph. 5:8-20).”
John L. Mackay, Haggai, Zechariah, & Malachi: God’s Restored People