Can we turn, once again, to the book of Malachi? [P] Those of you who were here last time I spoke, if you are astute, may have noticed that I skipped over a verse. You may recall that Malachi was delivering a heavy message from יהוה to the priests. He was giving them a right royal telling off: He loved them but they despised His name. יהוה rebuked them for slapdash meaningless carrying on of religious ritual. They were offering blemished sacrifices – stolen, lame, blind. Now we do not sacrifice animal sacrifices – why? – because the perfect sacrifice has already been slain. All these previous animal sacrifices, be it burnt offering, sin offering, fellowship offering – they all pictured and pointed to Jesus. As Jesus said: [John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me!] By offering these blemished sacrifices they were dishonouring the perfect sacrifice, the Messiah, the Son of God. That was their attitude to Jesus! They were in fact despising and dishonouring His Name, the GREAT NAME of יהוה! יהוה was not pleased with them. Yet there in the midst of this telling-off is a glorious declaration. One brilliant verse shines out! And that is the verse I glossed over! The one good verse, I leave out! Not because I want to avoid it, but because I want to give it more attention. So let’s read: [Malachi 1:6-14 “A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honour? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? says יהוה of armies to you, O priests, who despise My Name. But you say, ‘How have we despised Your Name?’ By offering polluted food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted You?’ By saying that the יהוה’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favour? says יהוה of armies. And now entreat the favour of God, that He may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will He show favour to any of you? says יהוה of armies. Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says יהוה of armies, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting My Name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name will be great among the nations, says יהוה of armies. But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says יהוה of armies. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says יהוה. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says יהוה of armies, and My Name will be feared among the nations.] Did you pick it? Verse 11: [P] [Malachi 1:11 From the rising of the sun to its setting, My Name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is being presented to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name is great among the nations,” says יהוה of armies.] As we saw last time this is a stern rebuke. It comes with full force of יהוה of armies behind it – in 9 verses 7 times it says: “says יהוה of armies” and a further time “says יהוה”. יהוה is speaking. We are to tremble at His Word! יהוה is central – the whole issue is HIS NAME! The priests should be honouring that Name, respecting that Name, fearing that Name but instead they are despising it – their heart is seen in their actions – their slack attitude in service and worship. But no matter the failure of the priests, it makes not an iota of difference to יהוה’s purpose. HIS NAME WILL BE GREAT! Hallelujah! That is the issue! יהוה’s “Name” is referred to 7 times in these 9 verses and occurs We see it in verse 5: [P] [Malachi 1:5 Your eyes will see this, and you will say, “יהוה is great beyond the borders of Israel.”] and again in verse 14: [P] [Malachi 1:14 For I am a great King,” says יהוה or armies, “and My Name is feared among the nations.”] The Name of יהוה is of supreme importance! [P] Names are important to us: my wife is called Rhoda, and she is particular about her name. Let me give you a clue on how to get her annoyed: call her “Rhonda”! But that is what she gets all the time, people ask her her name, she tells them, and they write Rhonda”! I have spent considerable effort in having official records corrected. But it is important, her name is special to her – she isn’t Rhonda and justly feels aggrieved when her name is mishandled. Now we spend considerable thought in naming things – the name has to be appropriate. Sometime we name a baby after someone in the family, or after someone we admire, sometimes because we just like the sound of it. Sometimes a name is given because it has a certain meaning – my name is “Paul”, probably my parents admired the great apostle; but “Paul” means small and stubborn – so perhaps that is the reason. But whatever the name given, all that person is, is encapsulated in that name. I say “John Smith” – to many people the association is just any bloke in general – but to us who know John, immediately there comes to mind a specific person, his character and nature, his interests, his personality, sense of humour – a whole complex combination that makes John who he is, is encapsulated in that name. A name has connotations – why does absolutely no one call his son: “Adolf”? Name also means reputation, we talk of someone “making a name for himself”, of a business having a “good name”. Now if someone said, “Rhoda is a lying gossip.” – I would be highly offended. Someone had denigrated the name of the one I love! So when יהוה speaks of His NAME – it is His reputation, His character, His very being – all that makes Him who He is, is encapsulated in that Name. So when these priests despise His Name – it is blasphemy, an assault on the very character of God Himself! When we make Him small, less than He is, we are denigrating His Name. For His Name is GREAT![P] Consider the greatness of יהוה! Now this is an absolutely VAST topic - I am just going to plant a few seeds this morning. But after you have had your Sunday lunch and you are sitting down comfortably in your arm chair – you may care to consider the GREATNESS OF GOD! [P] It is a most wonderful and vast meditation – this is just a starter, I make no claim to be exhaustive but consider יהוה’s greatness in:
In creation – everything came into being by Him, He designed it. Consider the greatness of His design in flowers, birds, insects. He made it all, the vastness of the mountains, the stars, the galaxies. Creation proclaims His greatness.
In power – he has all power – consider the greatness of the power in the sun, the galaxy, the cosmos. Spiritual powers
In Sovereignty – He is in control over all, absolute dominion. The greatness in directing every single event.
In knowledge – He knows all things [Psalm 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. ]
In understanding – [Isaiah 40:28 יהוה is the everlasting God, …. His understanding is unsearchable.] not only what is happening but the why, the motives of all, the situation of all – He understands what you are going through
In glory – He is enthroned in glory [Psalm 138:5 and they shall sing of the ways of יהוה, for great is the glory of יהוה.]
In majesty – consider the King upon His throne in glory – the angels falling in worship before His majesty
In splendour – dwelling in unapproachable light, clothes Himself with light as a garment – none can see Him and live
In righteousness – [Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,] vast, unassailable, perfect.
In justice – absolute justice. [Psalm 36:6 Your judgments like the great deep.] immense!
In Goodness – His goodness is vast. An absolute goodness, all that יהוה does is done in goodness. [Psalm 31:19 How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You,]
In holiness – utterly transcendent, set apart and other. Holiness that had men fall before him as dead
In wisdom – perfect wisdom that we cannot plumb, it is beyond finding out [Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible are His ways!]
In Compassion – [Nehemiah 9:31 But in your great compassions you did not put an end to them, and you did not abandon them. For you are a gracious and compassionate God.]
In love – all He does is done in steadfast loyal loving kindness – consider the greatness of His love in giving His Son. [Psalm 108:4 Your loyal love is great above the heavens, and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.]
In mercy [Romans 11:32 For God confined them all in disobedience, in order that he could have mercy on them all.] Where would I be if it were not for יהוה’s mercy?!
In His plans – how vast they are, how intricate, everything working together for good to accomplish…
In His purposes – all working toward a glorious, coordinated perfect end – the revelation of Himself
In salvation – how great is His salvation! Hallelujah! Hebrews 2:3 talks about His Great salvation
In deeds – how vast and great they are – Dividing the Red Sea, raising the dead, destroying armies – they go on and on. There is no end to meditating on יהוה’s greatness – it will keep us occupied for all eternity. The Psalmist said: [Psalm 145:3 Great is יהוה, and very worthy of praise, and His greatness is unsearchable.] Your meditation could just go on and on – [P] the greatness of His faithfulness that reaches the clouds, we sing: “Great is Your faithfulness”. Personally I am greatly appreciative of the greatness of His patience [P]. Then there is His help, the greatness of the abundance of His provision. There is no end to the GREATNESS of יהוה! The psalmist said: [Psalm 86:10-11 For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O יהוה; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your NAME. ] David also said: [1 Chronicles 29:10-13 Blessed are You, O יהוה, God of Israel, our Father forever and ever! To You, O יהוה, is the greatness and the power and the splendour and the glory and the strength, for everything in the heavens and in the earth. Yours, O יהוה, is the kingdom and exaltation over all as head! And wealth and glory are from You, and You rule over all. And in Your hand is power and might. And in Your hand is power to make great and to give strength to all. And now, our God, we give thanks to You and offer praise to the NAME of Your splendour.] Miriam, the mother of Jesus said: [Luke 1:46-51 My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour, because He has looked with favour on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His NAME is holy. His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear Him. He has done a mighty deed with His arm.] I could go on and on – Scripture speaks of His “surpassing greatness”: [Ephesians 1:19 what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.] [Psalm 150:2 Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.] This prophecy in Malachi 1:11 says that this greatness will be recognised, will be universal. יהוה will be seen and acknowledged for who He actually is! Hallelujah! [P] [Malachi 1:11 From the rising of the sun to its setting, My Name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is being presented to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name is great among the nations,” says יהוה of armies.] “From the rising of the sun to its setting” [P] His Name is great – what does that mean? – well the sun rises in the east and sets in the west – so, from one end of the world to the other, even from cosmic east to cosmic west – that is universally, in every place יהוה’s Name is great – as the parallelism indicates: “in every place incense is presented to My NAME”. [Isaiah 45:6 so that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides Me; I am יהוה (He declares his Name!) and there is none besides Me!] Supremely great! Everywhere the sun shines the Name of יהוה is to be praised, we sing: [Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the NAME of יהוה is to be praised.] Not only everywhere but, the sun rises in the morning and sets at night – so it is not just everywhere, but also at all times, from one end of the day to the other. The GREATNESS of His Name will be universal acknowledged continuously and perpetually. “My NAME is GREAT” [P] is what it says up there (taken from the Lexham English Bible), but if you were listening carefully when I read earlier you would have heard: “My NAME will be Great” (that is what the NASB says). What does yours say? Most say that it is going to be in the future – but some very literal translations say that it is the present. Well which is it?! [P] Well, what does the original say? – no, not the King James! In our search for the truth we go to the Hebrew!! Sorry! It doesn’t help! No, present tense, no future tense, no past tense – there is no verb there at all! Oops! Did God forget to put one in? If so, He did so twice in this verse. Just:”GREAT MY NAME!” יהוה knew what He was doing! Here is the truth: “GREAT MY NAME!” – What, now? Yes! Not future? Yes, that too! So it could be past? Yes, that as well! In eternity past, right the way through to eternity future:”GREAT MY NAME!” Timelessly! There is no time, past or present about it – it is an eternal truth! If you say “will be great” – you imply that it is not great yet. If you say was great, it implies it is not any more. If you say is great, that limits it to now. יהוה knew what He was doing – not confined by a temporal verb at all. But it is kind of untranslatable! Most Bibles say: “My Name will be great” - hasn’t He has always been great? – Yes, but in the context of the prophesy, יהוה’s Name has been defiled (v.6), profaned (v.12), made to be less that it is; but there is coming a time when that greatness, that has always been, will be universally recognized. Not just in Israel, among יהוה’s own people but far wider. “My NAME is GREAT among the nations” [P] יהוה is great – His ways and purposes go way beyond what we anticipate. [Isaiah 49:6 He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”]. His work extends way beyond Israel, to the nations, to the goyim. GREAT beyond the borders of Israel! Great among the nations! Feared among the nations! If Israel and His priests wouldn’t exalt His Name, then He would use the heathen to do so. For the NAME OF יהוה WILL BE GREAT! Jesus, the Messiah, came from God; and, true to form, they despised Him – as He entered Jerusalem they didn’t want that NAME to be praised, to be great. So they told those crying “Hosanna” to be quiet: [Luke 19:37-44 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”] That is what God did! – He made the rocks cry out praise to His Great Name. Here we are about as far from Jerusalem as it is possible to get, and we rocks, we who were spiritually out to it, dead in our trespasses and sins, without God or hope in this world – inanimate rocks! But now we glorify His Name. In the nations Jesus’ Name is exalted! Hallelujah! Today we are fulfilling this prophecy! Look, you have to understand that Israel is the chosen nation – they thought that they were it – יהוה’s people. The nations, the goyim, us Gentiles are the heathen, without God. To them it was inconceivable that יהוה would have any time for us. But יהוה is great – His purposes are far greater than they conceived – He even called us as well! [Romans 9:24-26 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As He says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’ And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’ ” “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”] The message about יהוה and His greatness went out to the ends of the earth [Romans 10:16-21 “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.” And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”] When Murray and others in New Tribes Mission go out with the Gospel to those who have never heard, they are helping to fulfil this prophecy that יהוה’s Name will be great among the nations. יהוה’s name will be great among the nations: [Revelation 7:9 behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, …..] – all worshiping יהוה. So by יהוה’s name being made great among the nations, does this mean that His Name will not be great in Israel? No, [Romans 11:11-14 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfilment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.] יהוה’s Name being exalted among the goyim, will make Israel jealous; and יהוה will use this to bring them back. So His Name will be great among the nations and in Israel. From East to West - world-wide, from sunrise to sunset - all the day - יהוה’s Name will be great, magnified. [P] His glory will be revealed, all will recognize His indisputable greatness. prophecy said from east to west יהוה’s Name will be great – Jesus said: [Matthew 24:27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matthew 24:30-31 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. ] There is a fulfilment of this prophecy in missionaries taking the Gospel to the corners of the world and the nations exalting יהוה’s Name, But there is a greater fulfilment! A fulfilment yet in the future. Jesus is coming! Coming in glory! All will see Him! There is coming a time when the glory of יהוה will be revealed – the greatness of His Name made evident for all to see: [P] [Habakkuk 2:14 The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of יהוה, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 40:5 Then the glory of יהוה will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the יהוה has spoken.”] All will see Jesus in His glory, He is coming to rule as King: [Zechariah 14:9 And יהוה will be king over all the earth; in that day יהוה will be the only one, and His NAME the only one.] His NAME will be great! They will fall at His feet in submission to His surpassing Greatness, before the Great King. [P] [ Philippians 2:9-11 God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the NAME which is above every name, (His Name will be GREAT) so that at the NAME of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ] That Great NAME will receive the praise that is its due: [Romans 14:11 For it is written, “As I live, says יהוה, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.”] Where is it written? [Isaiah 45:21-23 Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, יהוה? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Saviour; There is none except Me! “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other! “I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.] All the nations will acknowledge His surpassing greatness: [Revelation 15:3-4 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your NAME? [P] For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”] In Malachi’s time יהוה’s name was not honoured; in our own day יהוה’s greatness is not acknowledged but His Name, nonetheless, WILL BE HONOURED! This will be true worship - the offerings will be pure, not defiled; and everywhere - יהוה has declared, so it will be: HIS NAME IS GREAT and HIS NAME WILL BE GREAT! AMEN! That greatness has never altered but it will be revealed to all! Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. יהוה will receive the glory due to His NAME! [1 Chronicles 16:29-31 Ascribe to יהוה the glory due His NAME; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship יהוה in the splendour of holiness. Tremble before Him all the earth..... Let them say among the nations, " יהוהreigns!"] Our God, יהוה, is GREAT! Surpassingly GREAT! Hallelujah! Let us worship Him in the splendour of holiness, give Him the honour that is due to His great NAME: [Psalm 70:4 May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”]