Steadfastness: the quality of being resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Steadfastness in Greek is hypomonē: A remaining behind, or a patient enduring
When I read that, I think more about how I should be, than who God is… and there is precedence for that in the Bible:
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
2 Peter 3:17 NASB You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness
Psalm 57:7 NIV My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!
That is the difference between us and God… We can choose to act steadfast and sometimes make it, but God IS Steadfast and is incapable of being any less than.
1. Doubting God’s Love
Malachi 1:2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
God starts by setting the bar of saying, "I Love You," and then proves it by reminding them that He chose their family line to be the chosen people.
Even when they question His love, He is Steadfast.
2. Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices
Malachi 1:6b-7a “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ 7 “By offering defiled food on my altar.
Malachi 1:13b-14 “When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.
God proves that they’re wrong in giving him pathetic offerings and reminds them of His character.
Even when they treat Him like trash, He is Steadfast.
3. Breaking Covenant Through Divorce
Malachi 2:11 11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god.
Malachi 2:14 …the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
The men of God are out of line and acting selfishly in their marriages. Instead of affirming those men who are in a position of power, He is standing for the women who are being used and left to fend for themselves.
Even when they ignore the gift of Godly marriage, He is Steadfast.
4. Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
Malachi 2:17 17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
Malachi 3:1-4 1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.
The people of God blame Him for all of the bad things in the world, and instead of rightly refuting it, He tells them that Jesus is coming to make it all perfect for them.
Even when they blame Him for THEIR ISSUES, He is Steadfast.
5. Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
Malachi 3:8-9 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.
God calls them out on robbing from Him, because they are not tithing to the Temple, and the temple is falling apart.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it
Malachi 3:10 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Instead of giving them what they deserve, He tells them that if they start giving, He will bless them more than they even know how to handle.
Even when they ROB God, He is Steadfast.
6. Speaking Arrogantly Against God
Malachi 3:13-15 13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ 14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The people are saying that it’s futile to follow God, because evil people get away with their evil. God responds with a short story about a faithful remnant of people, and tells about them leaning on a “scroll of remembrance” that will help them remember the Character of God.
He offers them hope and shows them what could be if they continue to serve Him.
Malachi 4:2-3 2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. 3 Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty
Even when they question following God, He is Steadfast.
Malachi 3:6 I the Lord do not change.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I will really trust this week that God is who He says He is.
I will spent time this week thanking God for His steadfast nature.
I will rest this week in knowing that God is stable enough for both of us.