Malachi 2

1 "And now this commandment is for you, O priests."

2 "If you do not listen, and if you do 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; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart."

3 "Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it."

In those days the priests were the leaders. Today, the leaders are the pastors and the teachers and the church board members – the church elders. The offspring of the leaders are the people who belong to the church and listen to the leaders.

The leaders have a significant impact on the whole church. A good leader bears good fruit, but a bad leader will bear bad fruit. Leaders are responsible for the blood of the people over whom they have authority. In Ac 19:26,27 Paul told the Ephesians that he was innocent of the blood of all men because he did not shrink from telling them the full gospel. A leader who knowingly does not preach the full gospel due to fear of man or fear of losing his job will be responsible for the blood of those who go astray by hearing him.

4 "Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,'' says the LORD of hosts."

5 "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name."

6 "True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity."

7 "For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts."

8 "But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of hosts."

9 "So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction."

God’s covenant of peace with the sons of Levi is described in Number chapter 25. In the days of Moses God commended the leaders who ruthlessly dealt with sin in the congregation and turned many back from iniquity. They were jealous for the honor of God. For this God promised them peace (Num 25:10-13).

In the days of Malachi the leaders did not care. They did not deal with sin in the congregation and they did not seek to honor God in the nation. Therefore God did not honor them before the people.

God deals with church leaders in the same way today. If they do not deal with sin in their own lives and in the church then God allows their offspring to go astray and make a mockery of them in the eyes of the whole congregation.

10 "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?"

11 "Judah has dealt treacherously, and an 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 "As for the man who does this, may the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the LORD of hosts."

The Israelites deserted God and went after foreign women who persuaded them to worship idols. This was an abomination in God’s eyes.

The church today is afflicted with the same malaise. Men and women have deserted God and have gone after idols.

13 "This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand."

14 "Yet you say, "For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant."

15 "But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth."

16 "For I hate divorce,'' says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong,'' says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."

God hated divorce then and He hates divorce now. In the New Testament, divorce is only allowed (allowed, but not required) when a spouse is unfaithful and commits adultery (Mt 19:3-9).

Those who divorce their spouse for any other reason is displeasing to God and needs to realize it.

When we marry we are making a covenant with our wife before God and we are bound to keep it.

The word ‘hate’ is a strong word. Those who fear God are sensitive to God and fear to do what He hates.

17 "You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, 'How have we wearied Him?' In that you say, 'Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,' or, 'Where is the God of justice?'"

The Israelites came to a point where their conscience was so far gone that they could not distinguish between good and evil. They began to think that doing evil is good! As a result, they wearied the Lord.

How are things in the church today? There are churches that appoint female teachers and leaders over men when the Bible clearly teaches that women must not teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tm 2:11-14). There are churches that affirm gay marriages and even perform the marriage ceremonies when the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin (Rom 1:26,27; 1 Cor 6:9). There are churches who allow sexual immorality to be practiced without rebuke when the Bible clearly teaches that adultery and fornication are sinful (1 Cor 6:9). And there are many more examples that one can give.

When a church thinks that people who do such things today are okay in God’s eyes will they not weary the Lord too?

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