Heart of a Shepherd Ministry

Daily Devotional Meditations and a Biblical Perspective on Current Events

Today’s Daily Devotional

The End is Merely the Beginning – part 1 (Malachi 2)

Click this link to translate this Bible study into Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, or Portuguese.

 

Scripture reading – Malachi 2; Malachi 3; Malachi 4

Our study of the Old Testament Scriptures concludes with a summary of chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Book of Malachi. This is part one of two Bible studies for today and is taken from Malachi 2.

 

Malachi 2

 

The Priests (ministers) Failed the People (Malachi 2:1-9)

Malachi’s focus on unfaithful priests began in chapter 1 and continued in chapter 2. Those spiritual leaders were guilty of accepting and sacrificing inferior offerings (though they knew they were violating God’s Law, Malachi 1:7-8). The prophet confronted the priests and accused them of despising the privilege of the priesthood (Malachi 2:1-2). He warned the priests that the LORD would curse them for not serving from the heart (“ye do not lay it to heart,” Malachi 2:2).

In a graphic portrayal of God’s disdain for their hypocrisy, the LORD warned, “I will corrupt your seed [grain, or possibly their children], And spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts [refuse which was supposed to be disposed of outside the city]; And one shall take you away with it” (Malachi 2:3).

The Levites’ duty was to live righteous lives and teach the people how to live as unto the LORD (i.e., His Law (Malachi 2:4-7). Yet, many priests led the people astray, causing them to stumble (Malachi 2:8). They corrupted the Law, and God warned that He would cause the people to despise them (Malachi 2:9).

The Priests (ministers) Failed the People

The Men of Judah Corrupted the Institution of Marriage (Malachi 2:11-16) 

Particular condemnation was directed to men of the tribe of Judah who were guilty of divorcing their wives and taking heathen, idolatrous wives (Malachi 2:11). Malachi warned that those men would be “cut off.” The LORD would reject their sacrifices, though they came to the altar with tears (Malachi 2:12-13). Malachi warned that the LORD “regardeth not the offering any more, Or receiveth it with good will at your hand” (Malachi 2:13).

Yet, those hypocrites dared to ask, Why? Why does the LORD reject our sacrifices? (Malachi 2:14) Malachi spared no words in condemning them for violating the sanctity of marriage (Malachi 2:15). Rather than rejoice in the wife of their youth (Proverbs 5:15-21), and honor God’s design for husband and wife to be “one” (meaning, “one flesh,” Genesis 2:21-25; Matthew 19:16), the men of Judah divorced their wives.

Tragically, believers of our day have followed that same pattern, and divorce is commonplace. Malachi boldly declared God’s heart on the matter of divorce and said, “For the Lord, the God of Israel…hateth putting away[divorce]” (Malachi 2:16a). Why? Divorce is as violent to the spirit as tearing a garment (Malachi 2:16b). Divorcing one’s wife is an act of treachery against God and one’s spouse (Malachi 2:16c).

 

The People Questioned God’s Justice (Malachi 2:17) 

Chapter 2 concluded with a sinful attitude that is familiar today. In Malachi’s day, the wicked challenged God’s justice and said, “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?” (Malachi 2:17)

Warning: Call evil good if you will, but there will be a day of justice, and the LORD will judge and bring the sins of darkness to light. (Isaiah 5:20-25)

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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