“Get off my dude Malachi, Preacher!” by Pastor Aamon R. Miller
Yeah, I hear you saying, in your best Kim Wayan’s voice, “Bet not NOBODY say NUTHIN bad about Brother Malachi Jenkins, Sister Jenkins’ baby boy!!!” Well, I have NOTHING bad to say about Malachi! I love that dude. LOL! But, in order to understand a text, we must INTERROGATE the text. Just like in “Law & Order SVU”, we must ask questions to establish the whereabouts of the text before, during, and after the scene of the crime: our reading.
Every time we read God’s Word, we must ask: “What is this scripture saying to ME?” . . . To arrive at an answer, it boils down to understanding SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT agreement. Let’s begin our interrogation by asking of the text several questions:
- Who is speaking?
- To whom are they speaking?
- What are they speaking about?
- Are they saying something new OR is it also found somewhere else in the text?
- What judgments (blessings, curses, punishments, or promises) are being pronounced?
- Who is affected by the pronounced judgments?
To understand Malachi 3, we cannot START at Malachi 3. We have to start at Malachi 1 to FIRST see WHO is talking TO WHOM and see if the speaker (SUBJECT) ever switches who (OBJECT) HE/SHE is speaking to. LET’S GO!
In Malachi 1:6, GOD is speaking through Malachi to the PRIESTS. . . . Notice speech pattern in 1:6, The LORD says, “It is YOU priests who show contempt for my name.” -- “But YOU ask, ‘How have WE shown contempt for YOUR name?’”
Jump to Malachi 2:1. God is STILL talking to the PRIESTS. He tells THEM that HE is going to CURSE THEM! . . . Notice the same speech pattern in 2:17 as Malachi speaks to the PRIESTS, “YOU have wearied the Lord. . .” -- And the PRIESTS ask, “How have WE wearied HIM?”
NOW, we arrive at Malachi 3, our famed chapter. Where do we see a switch in WHO is speaking TO WHOM that was established in Chapters 1 & 2? It is pretty clear that we DON’T! GOD is still speaking to the PRIESTS. . . . Notice the EXACT SAME speech pattern in 3:8, ““Will a mere mortal rob GOD?” -- “But YOU ask, ‘How are WE robbing YOU.”
--------------------------- Le Sigh, Monsieur Reverend! --------------------------
Okay, so what's the BIG deal? Well, we (THE CHURCH) use Malachi 3 to say the WE the NT CHURCH have robbed GOD when WE don't bring 10% of our MONEY to the CHURCH. And WE are CURSED because of our failure OR we are blessed based on our compliance to tithe. BUT, where is this text speaking to the PEOPLE? It is not. . . . Who's CURSED with a curse? Certainly not us, the New Testament church. You know why? Because, “Christ has redeemed us from the CURSE OF THE LAW, (he) being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).
- So, if God is NOT talking to the people (US) in Malachi 3 . . .
- And, if WE (NT CHURCH) are not subject to the curse of the Law . . .
- Next we have to ask, “What is this TITHE that He speaks about?”
We’ll dive deeper into THAT next week! Until then, be blessed!
-- Pastor ARM
Topic: “Get off my dude Malachi, Preacher!”
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