Malachi 1:9
"But ask now for God's favor. Will He be gracious to us? Since this has come from your hands, will He show you favor?" asks the LORD of Hosts.
Sermons
A Solemn ChargeW. Osborne Lilley.Malachi 1:9
Regarding the PersonR. Tuck Malachi 1:9
The Profession and the Practice of ReligionD. Thomas Malachi 1:6-9
Will he regard your persons? The idea of the verse is somewhat difficult to trace; but it appears to be this: "You are expecting that God will accept you just because you are priests, on account of your official standing alone. You think that it does not matter to him what you are morally, so long as you go through the routine of his service according to the standards;" It is intimated plainly enough that their intercessions on behalf of the people must be in vain so long as they are acting unworthily.

I. THE SENSE IN WHICH GOD DOES REGARD THE PERSON.

1. He deals with each individual, never loses the one in the many; each person stands out distinctly before him as if there were no other. This truth needs to be dwelt on, because men readily hide themselves from their own view, and think to hide themselves from God's view, in the class to which they belong. The sins of the priests may not deeply humble any particular priest.

2. He deals with a man's moral condition. That belongs exclusively to the man. It is his personality. It is the matter of supreme concern to God.

II. THE SENSE IN WHICH GOD DOES NOT REGARD THE PERSON. He is no "Respecter of persons." This enlarges the idea, and we may see:

1. That God takes no account of bodily peculiarities. "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart."

2. God takes no account of social rank. He pays no deference to the high-born and rich; he shows no indifference to the low-born and poor. His supreme interest is in men, not in the accidents of men. This is not meant to imply any failure in our estimating the value of social status and influence; it only emphasizes that these are not the matters of Divine consideration. They do not belong to the essence of manhood.

3. God takes no account of official position. No man stands in the special favour of God because he is a king, and no man has any special ground for pleading with God in the fact that he is a priest or clergyman. A man's power of intercession with God is dependent on his personal relations with God, but it is assumed that every priest and every minister is what he ought to be - in accepted personal relations with God. No matter what our office may be, if there is not at the heart of it a right state of mind and heart, the acceptance of the ministry of that office cannot be assured. - R.T.







This hath been by your means.
Irreligion is the cause of social chaos and national ruin. Calamities frequently arise from spiritual conditions. Outward circumstances are often very closely linked with the inner life.

I. MEN HAVE POWER TO BRING EVILS UPON THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. Man is a centre of causation. Deeds do not end in the doing of them. We may meet them in the results of after years. More than half the evils that afflict men are self-wrought. God seldom interferes with the sequences that follow our action. Man is not the creature of circumstances, but the creator of them. He is treated as being responsible for his own happiness or misery. Man cannot keep the results of his actions from affecting others. One man has ruined thousands. Godless parents ruin families; hypocritical pastors destroy their flocks; depraved senators overthrow a nation.

II. EVIL-DOERS SELDOM ADMIT THIS POINTED CHARGE. There is a disposition in men to look for the cause of their afflictions anywhere rather than in themselves. They have come from fate, from misfortune, from accident, from the errors of others, from the vindictive anger of God. Honest confession is rare. Not to admit this charge is —

1. Unwise.

2. It will only increase our guilt.

3. It will hinder our reception of mercy.

(W. Osborne Lilley.)

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