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The Book of Malachi
Chapter 2

Sinful Priests Malachi 2:1-9

Malachi 2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. (KJV)

This is still dealing with the priests. Since all TRUE believers are priests (1 Pet.2:9) in the age in which we live, this prophecy has real meaning for us. God is condemning the priests for their profanity. . . . Profanity is rampant today, and blasphemy! Wake up people!

Instead of the priests serving God, they were opposed to God, disgracing Him in their service they were performing in the temple. Here the emphasis is NOT on the value of the offering but on the character of the offering that was placed on the altar. We all must guard against misrepresenting God. He is gracious and should be reverenced. He has judged sin in the past, and He will judge sin in the future. He is the awe-inspiring God. He MUST be adored, loved, respected and worshiped. His righteous wrath should be greatly feared.

Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (KJV)

The priests were NOT taking their job seriously. God was going to judge them more severely than He would judge the people. WHY? Because of their position of responsibility (Jam.3:1). They allowed this filthy condition to exist. They knew that the people were bringing inferior animals for sacrifice. God had given them the law of truth, they were to teach it to the people.

God will also judge the preachers of today who go to the pulpit with an unbelieving heart. God will hold these people responsible. You must honor His Name, or He will bring a terrible curse against you. God warned the priests that if they did not honor His Name, He would punish them. We too are called to honor God’s Name, to worship Him, to acknowledge God for who He is . . . the Almighty Creator of the Universe. He alone is perfect and reaches down to sinful mankind with perfect love. Do you honor God and His Name? A curse awaits if you don’t.

Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. (KJV)

God told them “I will punish your children and rub your faces in the manure of the animals you sacrifice, and you will be taken out to the manure pile.” And when that happens, they would not be able to serve at the altar, because no unclean thing can come there, and they will certainly be unclean! This is strong language that God is using here. "Corrupt" literally means rebuke, exactly the opposite prophecy of blessing. To rebuke your seed is to forbid its growing.

Malachi 2:4-6 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. [5] My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. [6] The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. (KJV)

Levi “feared God . . . and turned many from sin” (Mal.2:6). Levi was the ancestor of the tribe of Levites, the priestly tribe set apart for service to God (Num.1:47-54). The Levites became God’s ministers, first in the tabernacle, then in the temple. In these verses, God was addressing the priests who were from this tribe, saying that they should listen to the laws He gave their ancestor Levi, and follow his example.

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. (KJV)

The priests’ lips should guard knowledge, and people should go to them for instruction, because the priests were the messengers of the Lord Almighty. Studying the Word and teaching it is the pastor’s business today. God says that it was Levi’s (the priests) business, but in Malachi’s day the priests were NOT doing it. A messenger of the Lord . . . interprets His will (Hag. 1:13). Ministers are called “ambassadors of Christ” (2Cor.5:20); and the bishops of the seven churches in Revelation “angels” or messengers (Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; Rev. 3:1, 7, 14; compare Gal.4:14).

Malachi 2:8-9 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. [9] Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (KJV)

The priests had left God’s paths. Their guidance (lack of it) had caused many to stumble into sin. They corrupted the covenant God made with the Levites. So God made them to be despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people because they did not obey God. The priests were to be God’s messengers, but they led God’s people astray. Their conduct was willful and inexcusable. Pastors and leaders of God’s people must know God’s Word; must know what it says, what it means, and how it applies to daily life. How much time do you spend in God’s Word?

Sinful People, Malachi 2:10-17

Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (KJV)

We all have the same Father, and the same God created us all. The people were breaking promises to one another, and blaspheming the covenant that God made with their ancestors. They were violating the covenant made by the Lord with their fathers, which determined that Israel should be a people separated from the other peoples of the world (Ex.19:5; Lev.20:24,26).

Malachi 2:11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. (KJV)

The people of Judah had broken their promise to God and done a horrible thing in Jerusalem and all over the country. They defiled the Temple which the Lord loves. Men married women who worshipped foreign gods. Intermarriage with the heathen would defeat the purpose of the Lord (Deut.7:3). After the temple had been rebuilt and the walls completed, the people were waiting to see past prophecies come true. But, the prophecies about the destruction of God’s enemies and a coming Messiah were not immediately fulfilled, and the people became discouraged, and grew indifferent about obeying God’s laws. This complacency gradually led to blatant sin, such as marriage to those who worshiped idols. Also see: Ezra 9-10; Neh. 13:23-31.

Malachi 2:12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts. (KJV)

The reference is to the priests, who should have taught the people devotion and fear of the Lord, but instead led them into evil. God will NOT spare priests OR people who act so brazenly. "Him that offereth" means that their offerings will NOT shield them from the penalty of their sin in rejecting their Jewish wives and taking foreign ones who were idol worshippers.

Malachi 2:13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. (KJV)

Another thing they did, was to drown the Lord’s altar with tears; weeping and wailing because He no longer accepted the offerings they brought to Him. "Done again" means an aggravation or worsening of their offense (Neh. 13:23-31). They had relapsed into the sin already checked once under Ezra (Ezra 9:10). Their first sin was their corrupted offerings to the Lord: now "done again" was added to their sin towards their wives. The tears are those of all the people when they saw that their sacrifices were bluntly rejected by God.

Malachi 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. (KJV)

The people cried, “Why has the Lord abandoned us?” Malachi, God’s messenger, clearly tells them why! “Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, even though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows.”

The people had only themselves to blame. Divorce today is rampant! People often try to avoid guilt feelings by shifting the blame. BUT . . . each one of us is responsible for the wrongs we do, NO one else! We cannot blame anyone else for OUR mistakes. God will not take any excuses from us. We make the decisions, we must face the consequences. Sin is sin, and trying to put the blame on someone else will not solve the problem. When you face problems, look first at yourself. Perhaps if you changed your attitude or behavior, the problem could be solved. God knows and can see our hearts. Don’t try to pull one over on Him. It won’t work!

Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. (KJV)

Marriage makes a person one body and spirit with their spouse. The Israelites were NOT to break their promise to God or their wives. Divorce in those times was practiced exclusively by men. They broke faith with their wives and ignored the bonding between a husband and a wife that God instills (the two become one person), as well as His purpose for them (raising children who love the Lord). They not only broke the marriage relationship, but the spiritual relationship of being united with God.

In today’s times, divorce is SO common. Most people just do not enter into marriage with any thought to the words they speak “Till death do us part.” This is a promise! Marriage is supposed to be a life long commitment, but it rarely is. Divorce will be judged along with all other sin.

Malachi 2:16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. (KJV)

God very clearly told them: I hate divorce! It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat. He told them to guard themselves and always remain loyal to their wives. To take heed to your spirit means to guard yourself in your spirit, and not break faith. It means to have the same commitment to marriage that God has to His promises with His people. Pretty serious stuff! God NEVER breaks a Promise (Josh.23:14: 1 Kings 8:56; Titus 1:2).

Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (KJV

Malachi told the people they had tired God out with their talk. They snapped back: “How have we tired Him?” Malachi said: “By saying, the Lord thinks all evildoers are good; in fact He loves them. Also by asking, Where is the God who is supposed to be just?”

People today are just as guilty! It tires God to hear people try to justify themselves in evil practices. If you think God can be your friend in sin, you deceive yourself! The day of the Lord will come. ALL people shall be judged.

Book of Malachi

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4

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