Read through Malachi,
and consider our world today, our own selves and the state of our/your churches and leaders as you consider the words of this book.
Malachi is the last book in the old testament, it is an amazing book filled with wisdom, warnings, promises an prophecy. At the time Malachi was written, Israel and Judah were destroyed/ taken captive and some were returning to the land and others had already settled in (See Ezra, Nehemiah). They started their journey out of Egypt, knowing and fearing the Lord, but over the (hundreds of ) years they turned away from God, God continued to call them back and warn them, but soon the land was so full of sin it could no longer continue. God calls out the people and priests for their wrong doing. Instead of repenting or considering their ways, they question God.
Rebellious questions they ask in response to God’s word:
- Really? How have you loved us?
- How have we ever shown contempt for your name? When have we despised your name?
- How have we defiled the sacrifices?
- Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship? Why doesn’t the Lord accept my offering?
- How have we wearied the Lord (with our words)? 2:17
- How can we return when we’ve never gone away? 3:7
- What do you mean? When have we ever cheated you? 3:8
- What do you mean? When have we said terrible things about you?
- The Lord said, I have heard you say : What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying His commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s armies that we are sorry for our sins?
God is a God of love, mercy and forgiveness with MUCH patience, but He’s also a God of wrath when it comes to sin, wickedness and evil. He curses the priests, cursed their blessings, curses their descendants for the evil they have done. Evil can’t stand before Him, He will patiently wait for us, He warns us, but when we continually disobey, continually turn away, continually cheat Him, continually blasphemy His name – There comes a time when … it’s enough. The scripture says that the sin reaches the heavens (Revelation 18:5) , the sin is about to overflow and that’s when God says, enough! The cries of those treated wrongly reach the heavens – see Sodom and Gomorrah, also the blood spilled out reaches his ears – see Cain and Abel. Here in Malachi, we read that He won’t listen to the prayers of some people even though they groan and weep before the altar. We may make our own rules, our own ways, our own god, doing what we think is right in our own eyes , but that is an imaginary and false reality, not pleasing to God.
As Malachi continues, God has questions for the people:
- Isn’t it wrong to give blind animals as a sacrifice? Isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased?
- Why should I show you any favor at all?
- Should I accept such offerings as these?
- Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?
- Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife?
- What does He want? (What does God want from your marriage?)
- Should people cheat God?
“Go ahead, ask God to be merciful to you but when you bring that kind of offering, shy should He show you any favor at all?” 1:9 – wow, is that the God we hear about in our churches? In other words, you don’t respect me, why should I respect you? I’m not sure this is matching my king james version… it says something like this, go ahead, face down begging the Lord for his mercy and grace, by your own means, but will he accept and regard you? (I am the Lord and I do not change- keep that verse in mind)
In chapter 1 v10, God tells the people ” I am not pleased with you” He says He’d rather the temple doors were shut to stop all the worthless acts and offerings.
Message to the Priests
- Honor God’s name
- Reverence the Lord
- Preserve knowledge
- Fear Him
- Teach people the truth of God’s instructions
- Do not lie or cheat
- Walk with the Lord
- Live good and righteous lives
- Turn others from a life of sin
- Their lips should preserve the knowledge of God
- They are messengers of the Lord.
Even though this message was written to the Levites and the people of Judah over 2000 years ago, God wants the same from our leaders today – our pastors, priests, elders, teacher. Those who lead and teach have a greater responsibility put on them.
If a man desires the position of a ]bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not ]covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the [mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.(1Timothy 3)
Are we turning others from sin? See Ezekiel 3:17-21. Do our lives reflect the righteousness, mercy and love of Christ ? Do we honor some people above others or do we show favoritism to some people over God? Is the truth of God’s word taught today? Have we mixed our churches and traditions with the world’s ways?
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a
perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships:
although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
If the Priests chose not to obey:
- a curse would come upon them
- a curse would come upon their blessing – in fact , the Lord says, they are cursed already, because they did not take God’s words to heart.
- a curse would come upon their descendants
- their seed would be corrupted
- dung of their feasts would be spread on their faces
- you will be contemptible and a base before all people (despised and humiliated before the people)
God tells the priests: Listen and make up your mind to honor God’s name , if you don’t you will be cursed. But you’ve already left God’s ways, and caused many to stumble, you’ve corrupted the Law and the covenant. you’ve been partial to the law, shown favoritism
What was the purpose of this covenant ? God wanted to give them life and peace through the covenant He had with them.
What were the Priests of Malachi’s day doing? They had left God’s paths, caused others to stumble into sin, corrupted the covenant God made with Levites, did not obey God, showed favoritism among people and not towards God
The sins of Judah
- They were having adulterous affairs – so God did not listen to them as they wept at the altar. They broke the vows they made to their wife, the men were unfaithful when their wives were faithful to them. (NT 1 Peter 3:7 – that your prayers not be hindered ) In the marriage vows, God made you one with your wife, Gods wants Godly children from your union, so guard your heart, remain loyal to the wife of your youth, to divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty, so guard your heart. God hates divorce.
- They had wearied the Lord with their words – How have we wearied you? God replied : You say that all who do evil are good in the Lord’s sight and this pleases God.
- Men intermarried women who worshiped idols. God said this is a detestable thing. These men were to be cut off from Israel.
- Each person deals treacherously with others and their brethren
- They profaned the holiness of the Lord
The Temple Message “ ALL WHO DO EVIL ARE GOOD IN THE LORD’S SIGHT AND HE IS PLEASED WITH THEM” – This was the message being taught in those days that angered and wearied the Lord. Do you think this same message is taught today? When have we been taught that our lives, our ways, our words have wearied the Lord? I hear a lot of Grace and love covers everything, but if God doesn’t change, then we need to STOP and consider our ways (Jeremiah 6:16) . We do not get a free pass to sin because Jesus was punished beaten, mocked and nailed to a cross for us. There’s a fine line here to debate and more of my view on this is on my post Once saved always saved?
My disclaimer – I read and study God’s word, but you must test all things, even those that I write and what you hear from others. For instance, I am not convinced, according to scripture that once you say the sinner’s prayer you are saved forever,maybe you are, but as you can read in my post about salvation, I have scripture that may make you think twice. you can also see in my post about grace, that even though I had all the scripture to back up my point, it seemed I wasn’t fully correct. Another topic is tribulation, I am not completely sold on the pretrib idea. I have done many studies on it, and the scripture is quite convincing, but when I open up the bible and study, I read scripture that makes think it could be mid or post or then again pre! So today you must prayerfully consider all you hear and read. Be a berean and test all things and always keep studying God’s word! Why? Read Why should I read the bible? I try to my best to stay fully focused on scripture and I am careful not to write or a say anything that would lead any astray, my goal is to 1- bring knowledge of scriptures to others, 2- make others see and experience the joy and excitement of studying God’s Word, 3- To bring back the drifter who has wandered and 4- to keep God’s children on the straight and narrow path
My takeaway and topics in Malachi 1 & 2 :
- God’s rules for marriage and the separation from God due to adultery and sin
- God’s curses on those who disobey Him, priests and people
- Don’t let our actions, traditions, words dishonor Him
- God wants to give us peace and life, but we have to obey Him and honor His name
- Purpose of Levite covenant was to bring peace and life
- Purpose of marriage as a godly union to produce godly children
- God doesn’t listen to everyone’s prayers
- All who do evil are still good in the Lord’ sight is a lie and a false teaching
- Consider your ways
Who was Malachi : Who was Malachi
Hear the Word of the Lord : Col 3:6
Colossions 3:5-17 : Destroy the desires to sin that are in you. These desires are: sex sins, anything that is not clean, a desire for sex sins, and wanting something someone else has. This is worshiping a god. It is because of these sins that the anger of God comes down on those who do not obey Him. You used to do these sins when you lived that kind of life. Put out of your life these things also: anger, bad temper, bad feelings toward others, talk that hurts people, speaking against God, and dirty talk. Do not lie to each other. You have put out of your life your old ways. You have now become a new person and are always learning more about Christ. You are being made more like Christ. He is the One Who made you. There is no difference in men in this new life. Greeks and Jews are the same. The man who has gone through the religious act of becoming a Jew and the one who has not are the same. There is no difference between nations. Men who are servants and those who are free are the same. Christ is everything. He is in all of us. God has chosen you. You are holy and loved by Him. Because of this, your new life should be full of loving-pity. You should be kind to others and have no pride. Be gentle and be willing to wait for others. Try to understand other people. Forgive each other. If you have something against someone, forgive him. That is the way the Lord forgave you. 14 And to all these things, you must add love. Love holds everything and everybody together and makes all these good things perfect. 15 Let the peace of Christ have power over your hearts. You were chosen as a part of His body. Always be thankful. Let the teaching of Christ and His words keep on living in you. These make your lives rich and full of wisdom. Keep on teaching and helping each other. Sing the Songs of David and the church songs and the songs of heaven with hearts full of thanks to God. Whatever you say or do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through the Lord Jesus.
1 thes 5:6-11 Watch and keep your minds awake to what is happening. 7 People sleep at night. Those who get drunk do it at night. 8 Because we are men of the day, let us keep our minds awake. Let us cover our chests with faith and love. Let us cover our heads with the hope of being saved. 9 God planned to save us from the punishment of sin through our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not plan for us to suffer from His anger. 10 He died for us so that, dead or alive, we will be with Him. 11 So comfort each other and make each other strong as you are already doing.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
Rev 21:8 But those who are afraid and those who do not have faith and the sinful-minded people and those who kill other people and those who do sex sins and those who follow witchcraft and those who worship false gods and all those who tell lies will be put into the lake of fire and sulphur.
Proverbs 29:16 When the sinful are many, sins become many, but those who are right with God will see their fall.
Joel 3:13 Come and crush the grapes, for the crushing-place is full. They flow over, for their sins are many. Thousands and thousands are in the valley of God’s punishment. For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of God’s punishment.
Think about – Did you notice that a lot of things in the bible happen every 400 years (est) – Judges, Kings, captivity to the coming of Christ or even the time Egypt? Think about that and the year we live in, considering America’s original foundation in Judaeo- Christianity, and now about 400 years later……