The Lord Rebukes the Priests
1 “And now, O priests, this command is for you. 2 If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. 4 So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. 5 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. He stood in awe of my name. 6 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. 7 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. 8 But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, 9 and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Judah Profaned the Covenant
10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
13 And this second thing you do. 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. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
The Messenger of the Lord
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
My Bible’s commentary for 2:1-9
The duty of priests was faithful performance of their duties in behalf of God’s people in honor of God. We are part of a new priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), with a duty to declare God’s word to our neighbors and the nations. If we fail to declare that message faithfully because we fear people more than we fear the living God, we are guilty of the same offense as the priests of Malachi’s day.
Yet God is determined to maintain the covenant with Levi. God’s desire to grant his people life and peace will not be frustrated by the failures of their earthly representatives. His people need a perfect priest who will offer right sacrifices on their behalf and teach them the law accurately and fairly. That is why Jesus had to come as our Great High Priest and just Lawgiver (Matthew 5). The work of the Levitical priesthood has come to an end because it has fulfilled its purpose of pointing us to and preparing the way for, Christ (Heb. 7:11-28)
Marriage is a primary metaphore for the relationship between God and his people in the Old Testament (e.g. v. 11), and of Christ and his church in the New Testament (Eph. 5:22-33). Marriage is also, of course, the way holy seed is raised up, the next generation of faith. Marrying an unbeliever or divorcing your spouse without biblical grounds (Mal. 2:14-15, cf. Matt. 19:1-12) and 1 Cor. 7:1-40) is therefore an assult on the Lord’s plan of redemption.
Yet while divorce under most circumstances is sin, it is not unforgivable. Our hope rests in God’s faithfulness, which always trumps our unfaithfulness. Israel was an unfaithful wife, who regularly strayed from her covenant commitments. She deserved to be divorced and abandoned, yet God pursued his wandering bride and wooed her back to himself (see Hosea 1-3). Jesus himself is the great bridegroom who pursued his people at great personal cost (Eph. 5:25-26).
Why does God allow evildoers to prosper? Surely if God is just, he should intervene immediately and give them what they deserve. Yet the Lord warns us to be careful about seeking his intervention glibly (2:17)
God wants us to put all fears aside and speak up and share our love for Jesus with others. Jesus did not die on the cross so he could be forgotten over time. He wants us to talk the talk as we walk the walk with His light shining brightly through us. The more trust we put in our LORD, the less we have to worry about the evil in the world, because he can see it and he will deal with it because he loves us.
I wish all of you a very blessed day.