After the complaints God makes through Malachi to the people in general, Malachi chapter 2 contains three complaints about the priests who offer the sacrifices on behalf of the people. He begins by reminding them of the faithful service of the priests in the past. “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.” The lack of faithfulness of the leaders was affecting the spiritual life of all the people.
The first area of unfaithfulness involves allowing the people to take foreign wives from the surrounding countries. Many people misunderstand this command in the Old Testament. God commanded the people not to marry people from other lands because they worshipped false gods. God was concerned that these spouses would lead them to abandon their true God. It was not a matter of nationality or racial heritage. It was a matter of faithfulness to the true God.
In our lives, we need to be careful not to marry ourselves to anything or anyone who will lead us to be unfaithful to the Lord. This could be a literal spouse or something impersonal. If it leads us away from God, we need to give it up.
Malachi then answers a question they have raised. They have been pouring their hearts out to God at the altar, but God has not answered. “You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.” God is angry because they have not been faithful to their wives, abandoning them and even divorcing them.
Finally, Malachi tells them that God is tired of hearing them twist His moral commands and approve of people who are doing evil.
All of God’s people should be living according to the commands of God. Malachi singles out the priests in chapter 2 because they are responsible for leading the people to do what is right. But all of the people are also responsible to God for obeying the commands of the Lord.
God speaks to the people through Malachi and tells them that He cannot bless them because they refuse His commands. Even today, God’s church can only experience God’s full blessing when we do things His way!
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC
5 days of scripture reading and prayer:
Day 1: Read Malachi 2:1-4. What disgusting metaphor does Malachi use to indicate how unhappy God is with the priests? Pray that you will be able to discern anything in your heart and life that really displeases God.
Day 2: Read Malachi 2:5-9. (Levi was one of the twelve sons of the great patriarch son of Isaac, Israel for whom God’s people were named. The descendants of Levi were designated to be priests and attendants of the religious services in the Temple of God.) What is the difference between Levi and the priests that Malachi is criticizing? Pray that God will help you be a faithful representative of Him before the world.
Day 3: Read Malachi 2:10-12. What has Judah done that is faithless before God? Pray that God will help you get rid of things in your life that stand between you and Him.
Day 4: Read Malachi 2:13-16. Why is God refusing to accept the sacrifices of the priests? Pray that God will help you to be faithful in all of your relationships.
Day 5: Read Malachi 2:17. What are they saying that wearies the Lord with words? Pray that God will help you trust Him and His justice and not grow cynical.