The book of Malachi is the final word from God before 400 years of silence which would lead up to the revolutionary ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus. The book in a phrase is "The Results of Broken Covenant.” It describes God’s UnCONDITIONAL love for Israel and Israel’s reactions. Through a series of questions God communicates to the remnant of the exiled Israel; from the self absorbed priests to the heartbroken weeping divorcee that was clinging to the altar, that what you see are the results of "broken covenant." Everyone feels helpless at changing injustice in the church, the community, and the nation. But God in a sense is saying, “Check your attitude about your marriage.” Start there! Peace and security comes from a community that knows how to keep their promises.
Can you recall (and describe) the first time as a young person you figured out that someone special to you was not going to keep their promise? As a young person, how did it effect you? As an adult, do you think it is still effecting you?
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT
What were each of these individuals doing wrong?
What was resulting?
What was the answer?
What was the purpose of creating the family, one woman and one man for life? What does that relationship portray?
What is the one rule God has given for choosing who you should or shouldn’t marry? Malachi 2:11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Deut. 7:23 Check out this resource if someone in your world is considering engagement: 101 Questions Before You Get Engaged
Check out this resource if someone in your world is pending a divorce: How to Save Your Marriage Alone
National Institute of Marriage - Smalley Counseling Center in Branson MO.
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- Is there any family in your CARE group not touched by divorce?
- Imagine the life complications that take place when people marry the wrong people? Ezra 9:10 – 10:44; Now Malachi 2:13-14 makes sense!
- What grievous situations in your life would not exist if someone would have kept their promises?
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- How can a church or your CARE group influence young people’s perspectives on who they marry?
- Who in your life has yet to make the decision of who to marry? How can you help them?
- (Confidentially) Who in your life has painful consequences of divorce to suffer? How can you help them?
- Consider this anonymous letter written by a mother that married an unbeliever: Dear Young person in love