This is the second half of the sermon that due to circumstances was not preached a couple of weeks ago, as we continue our journey through the book of Malachi under the overall heading of – “From the ashes of failure to the anticipated future.” The practical application of the teaching will be worked out in the house groups.
There are two sides to every coin, often referred to as heads and tails, but they are still the same coin. There are different “sides” to God, some of which we are more comfortable with than others, but it is still the same God. Having looked at the “side” of his love towards Israel, we now move on to consider the other “side” of this same God as we explore his attitude towards Edom.
Descended from Esau (Genesis 25 v 19 – 26) and despite being a “brother nation” to Israel there was perpetual conflict and “bad blood” between the two nations. Here are some examples:-
Edom would not let Israel pass through their territory on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land (Numbers 20 v 14 – 21.)
During the monarchy period Saul (1Samuel 14 v 47) and David (2 Samuel 8 v 13) fought against Edom who in turn joined forces with Israel’s established enemies to attack and invade (2 Chronicles 20 v 1.)
Edom rejoiced when Israel was exiled in Babylon and did nothing to help them (Psalm 137 v 7.)
God’s attitude towards Edom offers us insight into three key areas:-
1 – God’s Providence (v 4a.)
When Edom’s cities were destroyed they arrogantly resolved – “we will rebuild the ruins.” But God’s response was to say – “they may rebuild, but I will demolish” which is exactly what happened. God was able to do this precisely because he is – “The Lord Almighty” who providentially controls all things. Ultimately Edom was unable to defeat God’s providential plans.
Pause 4 thought – Events are not determined by chance, or by fate, but by the “Lord Almighty” who directs them to fulfil his purposes.
2 – God’s Punishment (v 4b.)
Edom is referred to as – “a wicked land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord.” Such wickedness could not go unpunished, and so they would experience judgement as prophesied not just here but also elsewhere in the Bible (Jeremiah 49 v 7 – 22 / Joel 3 v 19 / Ezekiel 35 & Obadiah 1) and eventually the nation of Edom was wiped from the face of the earth.
Pause 4 thought – Edom are a reminder that one day God will ultimately judge fairly and justly and that the wicked will be punished. Oh the need to trust in Christ that such judgement might be avoided.
3 – God’s Praise (v 5.)
God’s dealings with Edom are a reminder to Israel of his undeserved love towards them, and how instead of questioning such love they should be filled with praise of God’s greatness, declaring – “Great is the Lord – even beyond the borders of Israel!” God is a global God, whose praise is not to be confined to Israel, but all the peoples of the world are to praise him.
Pause 4 thought – Don’t continually question God’s love; instead concentrate on praising him for his greatness and for the fact that he is the God of all the nations.
Theme: “The other side of the same coin!”
Reading: Malachi 1 v 4 – 5
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes