Presentation on theme: "LESSONS FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS"— Presentation transcript:
1LESSONS FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS Sources consulted include works by: Jeff Smith, Mark Copeland, Clay Gentry, Gene Taylor, Homer Hailey, and Kyle YatesThe topic I was assigned was “Lessons Learned”I considered this and I asked myself, “Does this mean what did the original audience learn from these prophets?”There are many lessons which we can learn, and I believe that the Lord intended that we should .I want to present a few by way of review and then see if we can get a grip on the messages that are there for us.I have consulted a number of sources for the purpose of getting a few ideas about how otthers have summarized the messages of these men of God.
2THE PROPHET Did not always foretell future events Basically means one who speaks for anotherThese men were speaking for God and were given specific messagesTheir messages did not originate with them, but they were inspired by the Holy SpiritNone of them “aspired” to prophesyWhile they apparently all came from among the Jews, all messages were not directed to the JewsUnfortunately there were false prophets among the peopleFalse teachers have arisen through the years and are active even todayMany people are under the impression that the word prophet always referred to one who foretold the future. But they did not always foretell future eventsBasically means one who speaks for anotherThese men were speaking for God and were given specific messagesTheir messages did not originate with them, but they were inspired by the Holy Spirit(2 Peter 1:19-21) And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.None of them “aspired” to prophesyWhile they apparently all came from among the Jews, all messages were not directed to the JewsUnfortunately, there were false prophets who prophesied “peace, when there was no peace.” Several of the true prophets spoke about these liars.After showing that the true prophets were “moved, or bourn along by the Holy Spirit, he also warns that just as there were false prophets then, so some will arise today who will claim to speak for God(2 Peter 2:1-2) But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. (NKJV)
3RECURRING THEMES “Day of the Lord” – impending judgment from God Woe” – most often a warning of punishment for displeasing behavior, regardless of who is guilty“Burden” – God’s prophecy against a nation – even his ownGod’s promised blessings to the penitentPromises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdom“Day of the Lord” – impending judgment and retribution from God“Woe” – most often a warning of punishment for displeasing behavior, regardless of who is guilty“Burden” – God’s prophecy against a nation – even his ownCondemnation of sham religion and shallow worshipCondemnation of idolatry and the great contrast between the manufactured deities and the one true GodCondemnation of social injustice – brother against brotherThe remedy: Repent, return to God, redemptionGod’s promised blessings to the penitentPromises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdom
4RECURRING THEMESIndictment of the self-serving leaders – priests, prophets, and judgesCondemnation of sham religion and shallow worshipCondemnation of covetousnessCondemnation of idolatryCondemnation of social injustice – brother against brotherThe remedy: Repent, return to God, redemptionGod’s promised blessings to the penitent – the faithful “remnant”Promises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdomIndictment of the self-serving leaders – priests, prophets, and judgesCondemnation of sham religion and shallow worshipCondemnation of covetousnessCondemnation of idolatryCondemnation of social injustice – brother against brotherThe remedy: Repent, return to God, redemptionGod’s promised blessings to the penitent – the faithful “remnant”Promises concerning the coming Messiah and his kingdom
5MINOR PROPHETSCalled “minor” only because their books are shorter than those of the other prophetsThere was nothing minor or unimportant about their messagesThe Lord intended that the messages he had given should have a major impact upon the audienceGod’s desire was not simply to condemn but to arouse them to penitence so that calamity could be avertedJehovah is motivated by love for his people and intolerance of evilWe may have bee4n misled by the way in which these twelve prophets have been designated. This designation is of human origin, for the scriptures do not make a distinction between “major” and “minor”Called “minor” only because their books are shorter than those of the other prophetsThere was nothing minor or unimportant about their messagesThe ungodliness and evil which are denounced by these prophets and the declaration of punishment which would result from these sins call for serious, serious introspection and recognition of the need for major change and repentanceWhat was happening was not good for anyone and the Lord desired what was bestJehovah was very displeased with what was going on and he intended that the messages he had given should have a major impact upon the audienceGod’s desire was not simply to condemn and predict disaster but to arouse them to penitence so that calamity could be avertedGod loves his people, but he will not countenance evil, even among those he loves
6MINOR PROPHETSSince these prophets spoke to the people of their age – how can we benefit?We are told that what they and others wrote in the past are for our learning and admonitionThere are practical principles in these messages and they are timelessThere are many lessons for us – we will look at some of themSince these prophets spoke to the people of their age – how can we benefit?What is in it for us?We are told that what they and others wrote in the past are for our learning and admonitionRomans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.There are practical principles in these messages for all ages – even oursWe will try to summarize and emphasize these lessons
7JONAHThis book tells of a warning of impending doom to the Assyrians but it also contains lessons for us to learn:God desires to save all men, even the heathen, if they repent 2 Pet. 3:9Jehovah is the one true God, the God of all the universeWe cannot run and hide from God and the obligations he places on us Psa. 139:7-11Opportunities to serve God’s purposes become obligations – that is why we are here and why we are what we arePerhaps our efforts will cause changeThe story of Jonah and the great fish is a favorite among children.This book tells of a warning of impending doom to the Assyrians but it also contains lessons for us to learnThe attitude of reluctance which Jonah displayed might well be our attitude if we are reluctant to share the good news of truth with others. We cannot say, “let them take care of their own”God desires to save all men, even the heathen, if they repent 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.Jehovah is the one true God, the God of all the universeWe cannot run and hide from God and the obligations he places on usPsalms 139:7-11 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me;God used a “reluctant” Moses to stand up to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt.Saul, Israel’s first king was not a volunteer for that job.Jehovah wanted to give the Assyrians n opportunity to repent and he used Jonah, who was certainly an unwilling candidate to preach to them.An unlikely one to go to the Gentiles was commissioned to do just that. Paul told Agrippa of his encounter on the Damascus road:Acts 26:15- "So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 'I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 'to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.'Opportunities to serve God’s purposes become obligations – that is why we are here and why we are what we are.Perhaps our efforts will cause change – Jonah’s did, even though he didn’t like it. The warning was heeded andGod has not required us to make the world change but to give them the opportunity to know their condition and show unto them the remedy prescribed by the Lord.We never know what our words and influence will accomplish until we try. We cannot predict or control the response we will get but the whole world needs to gospel and God’s people are the only ones who have the true message of hope.
8JOEL The very essence of Joel’s message is: repentance. The repeated warnings of God to repent do not signal Jehovah’s toleration of sinGod is absolute sovereign over all peoples. He judges them for their wickedness.Just as Joel warns God’s people then, so we must be conscious of his judgmentDisasters, natural and man-made usually cause a heightened awareness of our need for GodWe have The promise of the Holy Spirit which began to be fulfilled in acts 2The very essence of Joel’s message can be summed up in one word: repentance.Let us remember that the call for repentance carries with it the hope of recovery. If God did not care he would destroy without warning.The repeated warnings of God to repent do not signal Jehovah’s toleration of sinGod is absolute sovereign over all people. He judges them for their wickedness. His righteous cause will always prevail.Joel was sent to warn Judah that unless she gave up her sinful practices, she was sure to face the wrath of God as well. Just as joel warned God’s people then, so we must be conscious of his judgment.Rom 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.Disasters, natural and man-made usually cause a heightened awareness of our need for God. Eg. 9-11The promise of the Holy Spirit’s coming beginning with Acts 2
9AMOS God will not tolerate sin even among the politically powerful While he is not hasty in bringing judgment, he does not warn endlesslyThose whom God has favored have a great responsibilityGod expects social justice, not the “dog-eat-dog” mentalityHollow and insincere worship is an insult to God, even if the actions are correctPhysical comforts must be carefully tempered with an awareness of what is really importantGod will not tolerate sin no matter who is guilty. Being strong in one way or another is not going to excuse the practice of sin.While he is not hasty in bringing judgment, he does not warn endlesslyJudgments against Syria, Phiilstia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab were pronounced because of the cruelty, insensitivity, and slavery, but Judah and Israel had their real problems also.Those whom God has favored have a great responsibilityGod expects social justice, not the “dog-eat-dog” mentalityHollow and insincere worship is an insult to God, even if the actions are correct. Jesus said of the Jews of his day in Matthew 15:7-9"Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (John 4:24) "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."Physical comforts must be carefully tempered with an awareness of what is really importantWe are reminded of the message of Haggai – “consider your ways” – look how you are so self centered that your real job goes undone.We are also reminded of the Lord’s admonition not to let material things control our lives:Lu 12:15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."Mt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
10HOSEA GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE... He loves His people Like a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer)Like a father loves his childBecause He loves His people...He blesses them abundantlyHe nurtures them patientlyGOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS...He expects His people to know His willHe expects His people to avoid harmful influencesHe expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickednessGOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE...He cannot let sin go unpunishedThose who remain in sin He will devourGOD IS A GOD OF MERCY...He call upon His people to repentHe will gladly heal those who do soGod loves His peopleChapter 11 is a compete record of God’s care for IsraelLike a man loves his wife (cf. Hosea and Gomer)Like a father loves his child –(Hosea 11:1) "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.This is quoted in Matthew 2.15 with Jesus presented as a figureBecause He loves His people...He blesses them abundantlyHe nurtures them patiently -. (Hosea 11:3-4) "I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.GOD IS A GOD OF HOLINESS...He expects His people to know His will - (Hosea 4:1-2) Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed. (NKJV)Hosea 4:6) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (NKJV)But they were not receptive and obedient(Hosea 8:12) I have written for him the great things of My law, But they were considered a strange thing.e expects His people to avoid harmful influences - cf. Hos 7:8-9He expects His people to sow righteousness, not wickedness - cf. Hos 10:12-13GOD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE...He cannot let sin go unpunished - cf. Hos 9:9Those who remain in sin He will devour - cf. Hos 13:7-8GOD IS A GOD OF MERCY...He calls upon His people to repent - cf. Hos 14:1He will gladly heal those who do so - cf. Hos 14:4
11MICAH A prevalent sin is that of ingratitude – then and now How can we know about what God has done for us and not be appreciative?We owe him our very existence - (Acts 17:25)Micah tells us about the nature of God... (Micah 7:18-20)Prophecies we know that have been fulfilled – this should bolster our faith and confidence in the LordThe birthplace of the coming Messiah is foretold (Micah 5:2)The establishment of the kingdom of the Lord is also foretoldThe kingdom of peace is promised. Very similar to the prophecy of Isaiah 2. The latter or last days was the time frame for the coming kingdom, which Joel shows to be time of Acts 2, as indicated by Peter when he said, “this is that…” (Micah 4:1-2)These prophecies, spoken to the Jews are intended for us as well (1Peter 1:12)We learn about the essence of pleasing God (Mic 6:6-8)Let us do what God requires of us, as expressed in Micah’s words:“...to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6:8)A prevalent sin then and now – ingratitudeHow can we know about what God has done for us and not be appreciative?We owe him our very existence - (Acts 17:25)We learn about the nature of God... (Micah 7:18-20)Prophecies we know that have been fulfilled should bolster our faith and confidence in the LordThe birthplace of the coming Messiah is foretold (Micah 5:2)We learn about the kingdom The kingdom of peace is promised. (Micah 4;1-2)Very similar to the prophecy of Isaiah 2. The latter or last days was the time frame for the coming kingdom, which Joel shows to be time of Acts 2, as indicated by Peter when he said, “this is that…”These prophecies, while spoken to the Jews are intended for us as well (1 Peter 1:12)The Jews might ask what kind of offerings would cause God to look favorably upon themWe learn about the essence of pleasing God (Micah 6:6-8)Let us do what God requires of us, as expressed in Micah’s words:“...to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6:8)
12NAHUM Once saved not always saved Nahum presents both the severity and the goodness of GodSin is always seriousJehovah never tolerates sin - and punishment of the impenitent is inevitableHe is longsuffering and patient, but there is a limitThe time for action is always now for doom awaits those who delayJehovah’s judgment is always just – never capriciousHe will judge us personallyGO to next notes
13ZEPHANIAH The word of God must be proclaimed with boldness Only the God of heaven is in a position to identify the problem and give the proper remedy for the woeful conditionsThe Day of the Lord would bring certain judgment upon the evil doersGod demands repentance and real changeWorthwhile change will take place in the heartUngodliness would be punished but there would be the redeemed remnantComposed of people who repented of sins and put their faith and trust back in God and His will For them,This day would not be a day of doom for them, but a day of deliverance.This ultimate deliverance would be found in the reign of the MessiahThough Zephaniah never mentions or describes the Messiah Himself, the other prophets make clear that this redemptive work was ultimately fulfilled through Christ.The answer to any bad situation is found in God and his willThe supreme holiness and awesome power of God is graphically described by Zephaniah.God is ruler over all nations - a fact he made clear to Nebuchadnezzar. He said through Daniel, in Dan 4:25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.People have a tendency to be like what they perceive to be their god. The idol worshippers actually gave their gods attributes they themselves possessed. God’s people are to imitators of him in holiness, mercy, and love.God’s punishment is not prompted by hatred of the recipients of it but by his intolerance of evil. Those who would be exercised to repent are cleansed, their sins are purged.God did not just draw a circle around certain people and call them the remnantThose who respond to God’s call for holiness comprise the “remnant”This remnant escapes the consequences that the impenitent will face – severe punishmentZephaniah does not specifically mention the Messiah, but the Messiah is strongly implied and other prophets make the fact clear that the Messiah would be the true redeemerRepent for the day of the Lord is at hand. - Zep. 1:1 – 2:3Change must not only be external but internal as well. – 2 Chr. 34, 35; Zep.1:5, 3:1-7With God’s strength; be willing to speak with boldness the message of God.Be willing to call sin… sin. – Zep. 1:1 – 3:20In the face of this life’s troubles hold fast to the hope of God’s tomorrow. –Zep. 3:8-20
14HABAKKUK God always sees the “big picture” We may sometimes question why evil and ungodliness seem to go unnoticed and unchecked by the LordWe may feel that retribution for such is long overdue – why does God not “do something?”He knows what is going on in the world and in our lives and he caresHe tells us it is his prerogative to deal with things in his own way in his own timeOur job is to trust him and recognize that our souls’ survival depends upon our acceptance of his will and wisdomAs the Psalmist recommends – let us “wait on the lord”God always sees the “big picture”We may sometimes question why evil and ungodliness seems to go unnoticed and unchecked by the LordWe may feel that retribution for such is long overdue – why does God not “do something?”He knows what is going on in the world and in our lives and he cares. Remember the words of Jesus – Lu 12:7 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.He tells us it is his prerogative to deal with things in his own way in his own timeOur job is to trust him and recognize that our souls’ survival depends upon our acceptance of his will and wisdom. “The just shall live (survive) by faith” The key is faithfulness - the only wayHabakkuk could only see the immediate situation that existed in Judah and he could not understand why the Lord would allow such evil and injustice to continue. When the Lord responds that he will use Babylon to punish his people, the prophet is aghast that he would use such an ungodly people against his own people. His questions do not show a lack of faith but a lack of information – knowledge he could not have possessed at this time. His questions and God’s answers should tell us that God always sees the big picture.Habakkuk will go to the watchtower and wait to see what will happen.We may wonder how long ungodliness and evil will affect our lives, we must recognize that Jehovah is not inattentive and he will deal with things as he sees fit - in his own time. While we may not know what is God’s providence and what is not, we can be assured that he is aware of our situations and of the conditions which surround us.As the Psalmist recommends – let us “wait on the Lord” – depend on himPs 27:14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!Ps 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.Ps 37:34 Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
15Pride is self-deceptive and self-destructive OBADIAHPride is self-deceptive and self-destructiveWhatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reapNeutrality is the same as opposing GodThose who trust in God will ultimately be victoriousPride is self-deceptive and self-destructive. Edom is proof of that.(Obadiah 1:3-4) The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to the ground?' Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down," says the LORD.(Proverbs 16:18) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fallJas 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.".Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.(Obadiah 1:15) "For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.(Galatians 6:7) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.Neutrality is the same as opposing God - Someone may say, “I’m not taking sides.”(Obadiah 1:11) In the day that you stood on the other side-In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Jerusalem-Even you were as one of them(Matthew 12:30) "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.Those who trust in God will ultimately be victoriousJust as God’s people were promised victory, so the faithful child of God today will also overcome1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.(2 Corinthians 10:4-5) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
16HAGGAI Complacency delays obedience The right time to do God’s will is nowSelfish interests must not overshadow our responsibilities to GodPreaching should be filled with “thus saith the Lord,”The hearts of “the remnant” can be stirred to action by the Lord through his wordWhat great lessons in this short book!Complacency delays obedience. We may say, as they did “the time has not come for us to build the Lord’s house.” In other words, “we’ll do it when WE think it is time.”When it come to doing God’s work, it is easy for us to feel that we will “get around to it” - some day.If God’s people do not do the work of God who will? The children of disobedience will not be sitting on their hands doing nothing, because Satan and his cohorts will be “going to and fro in the earth” sowing seeds of doubt, discord, and destructionAll Satan has to do to accomplish his designs is to persuade people to “wait.” He says “not now“, but God’s time is always NOW for the taking care of his businessThey thought that the time was right for them to take care of their personal businessSelfish interests must not overshadow our responsibilities to GodRepeatedly we find these words “ the word of the Lords came by Haggai the prophet saying…” Preaching should be filled with “thus saith the Lord,” - book chapter, and verse. not human concepts and opinions (Some speak disdainfully of what they call proof text preaching)The hearts of “the remnant,” the faithful, can be stirred to action by the Lord through his wordWhat great lessons in such a short book!
17Return to me and I will return to you ZechariahReturn to me and I will return to you“I am zealous for zion” – as he was then so he is now“zealous” = “jealous”Sometimes we need a “boost” to get us goingwe need encouragementReturn to me and I will return to youEven if we sin, he desires our return and is always ready to help and forgive“I am zealous for Zion” – as then so nowGod is zealous for us in that he always is doing what is best for usHe is jealous in that he expects undivided devotion – cannot be lovers of the world and GodGod is on our side – he wants us to be on hisHe never casts those from him are sincerely desirous of fellowship with him1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.(1 Peter 5:6-9) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.In times of stress, persecution, and despair God’s people need encouragementWe need reminders of who we are and what we are. Sometimes we need a little push to move us on to the task before us(Hebrews 12:4-6) You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives."I admit that I do not always know when I am being chastened but whatever the difficulty is, I know that with God’s help I can “get over it.” I know that God loves me and he loves you too.Mt 5:12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Zec 1:14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I am zealous for Jerusalem And for Zion with great zeal.Zec 8:2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her.‘(Ephesians 2:19-22) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
18MALACHI Self examination is necessary to determine true character God made statements concerning their true characterTheir questions revealed their inability to see themselves as they really were, but the Lord’s response made the facts plainNote that we are to examine ourselvesGod’s love should never be doubtedGod’s covenant is to be remembered and respectedGod’s name is to be reverencedGod’s service is never trivial or meaninglesswe may rob god of the service he rightfully deserves but Faithful service brings great blessings –Divorce is hated by GodThe Messenger and his forerunner promisedSelf examination is necessary to determine true characterGod made statements concerning their true characterTheir questions (how? When?) revealed their inability to see themselves as they really were, but the Lord made the facts plainNote that we are to examine ourselves1 Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.2 Co 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you are disqualified.Gal 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in anotherGod’s love should always be evident and should never be doubted even when we are rebuked by him. Actually, his efforts to correct us is proof of his love.God’s covenant is to be remembered and respectedGod’s name is to be reverencedGod’s service is never trivial or meaninglessFaithful service brings great blessings – we may rob God of the service he rightfully deservesWhen we fail to give ourselves to the Lord then whatever we do will be unacceptable him, for it will be empty and meaninglessMal 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.Many people. even brethren, have tried to re-write God’s law concerning marriage divorce and remarriage, but the fact remains that divorce is hated by God. Whenever there is a divorce, someone has sinned, maybe both parties are guilty.The Messenger and his forerunner promised. Mal 4:2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.