Archive for March 26th, 2014

Malachi 2

Malachi 2 has the prophet speaking straight and powerfully to the priests who are off the tracks.  “If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name….then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings….I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces”.  Wow – there is a big problem here.  The priests are not listening to God.  They are not giving Him honor.  They will pay a price for that choice, and it is a deliberate choice, so God will deal with them.

God has been clear about His expectations.  He made a covenant with Levi and He says “My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me”.  God had an understanding with Levi about how the priestly lineage was to live.  And these current clowns that Malachi is addressing are not fearful of God at all.  They are just doing whatever they want.  Levi responded to the covenant this way: “He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity”.

Levi took the covenant seriously.  He lived in fear of that covenant.  Malachi makes clear the expectations.  “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts”.  The role of the priest is to guard the truth and teach the people as a messenger of the Lord.  It isn’t to ignore it and do whatever you want.  Malachi calls them on the carpet and says “you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant”.  Some strong words from the prophet from God Himself.

God is clear He won’t just ignore the disobedience.  “I make you despised and abased before all the people”.  There is a price to pay for ignoring God.  He goes on to ask the question “Why then are we faithless”.  We take things into our own hands and do what we want, not what God has commanded.  And one area Malachi calls out here is divorce.  He tells them to “guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth”.  Then comes one of the strongest statements in scripture on the topic.  In the ESV, it says “For the man who hates and divorces, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence” but in many translations it is more direct where it says “God hates divorce”.  Bottom line is that God cares about how we live.  He wants us to live in obedience with Him, and to treat marriage as another very serious covenant that cannot be lightly ended.

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