God’s Love and God Fearers
Malachi 3:16–4:3 (ESV)
16Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.
17“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.
18Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
1“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
2But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
1. What is the fear of the Lord? How do you define it? Are you satisfied with the definition used in the sermon this past Sunday?
2. How does the fear of the Lord motivate people to open up and talk to other God fearers?
a. What do God fearers talk about according to this text?
b. What do they not tend to talk about?
c. How is the fear of man opposed to the fear of the Lord? How does Proverbs 29:25 help with your answer?
3. Why do those who fear the Lord have no reason to fear the judgment that is to come?
4. How does the fear of the Lord promote wholesome healing from life’s difficulties?
a. Who is the “sun of righteousness”?
b. How do the following passages help answer that question?
i. Isaiah 60:1-3
ii. Luke 1:76-79
iii. 2 Peter 1:19
iv. What is the primary means that Jesus uses to heal his people?
5. If you know that you will have the final victory as a God-fearer, how does that help you live with confidence now?
a. How does that help you pray for persecuted believers?
b. Why is it so difficult for some people to accept the biblical truth of Gods’ wrath?
6. Why do you think that Malachi starts with the love of God in chapter 1 and ends with the fear of God in chapter 4?
7. How can we most effectively teach our children to fear the Lord?