-God gives a commandment on listening to the priests as He begins chapter 2 (Malachi 2:1-2). The LORD is after the heart and will bring about a curse upon them and their blessings because of their dull ears. He will rebuke their offspring, spread refuse on their faces, refuse their feasts, and take them away if they will not give honor to His Name from the inner man (Malachi 2:2-3). They will eventually know that it is God who has sent the message through His prophet, so that His covenant will continue through Levi (Malachi 2:4). His covenant, to Levi, was one of life and peace (shalom, wholeness) given as an object of reverence and awe for the Name of the LORD (Malachi 2:5). When the heart was pure, true instruction was in the priest’s mouth and no unrighteousness was found in his lips. He walked with the LORD in peace and uprightness turning many away from iniquity (Malachi 2:6). Priests were designed to be messengers of the LORD of hosts preserving knowledge with attainable instruction from his mouth from the Almighty (Malachi 2:7). However, the priests of Malachi’s time had turned aside from the way causing many to stumble by their false instruction. They corrupted the covenant of Levi according to the Word of the LORD (Malachi 2:8). Therefore, the LORD had made them despised and abased before all the people. In other words they lost respect, courtesy, and reverence from the masses because of their injustice in showing partiality in the instruction. They were playing favorites (Malachi 2:9).
-*Application* Good and Godly leadership is so critical as we see here in this passage. The most important part of leading, as we see in this passage, is listening to the right Voice, which is the Voice of God. What spirit the leader has will be passed down to the populace. God is supporting a top-down philosophy that should increase our awareness and responsibility in every area. This irresponsible leadership is what, more than anything, degraded the Jewish society and drew the LORD’s ire. If you have leadership of any domain, listen with the right heart to God and follow His mandates and directions. He gives blessings, honor, life, and peace when we do.
-Malachi now turns to address the sins, which are in the people of Israel. The prophet asks the rhetorical questions pertaining to the “why” in their treacherous dealings with each other, which profaned the covenant of their fathers and interrupted their unity (Malachi 2:10). They have profaned the sanctuary of the LORD and committed abominations as well by their idolatry in chasing after foreign gods. This has quenched the LORD’s favor with them, and they are now feeling the effects (Malachi 2:11-13). The issue of marital faithfulness first comes up as a plight on their society as God answers their question as to the reason for His consternation. If a person has any bit of the Spirit of God they will not deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. God hates divorce, He tells them, and He detests the one who covers his clothes with wrong (Malachi 2:14-16). The people have wearied God with their empty words. In their audacity they have questioned, “How have we wearied Him?” But, they have said by their actions that, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” plus they insulted Him with the mocking, “Where is the God of justice (Malachi 2:17)?”
-*Application* Here we see the slowness to recognition of a wayward people. They simply do not get it. They are making excuses rather than making adjustments in the rebuke that they are receiving. They are trying to justify their position rather than conforming to the image of a holy God. How often do we do that in American society?
Verses to Memorize: Malachi 2:2, 16