The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 2 Part 2 Leave a Comment / Love Israel Connection Blog / By Rivka Korman Our next reading is Malachi 2:7-12 v7: People should seek the law from his mouth: One of the primary jobs of the priests is to speak according to the knowledge and according to the truth of G-d. When we speak in this way then others are going to seek that truth from us. They are going to enquire about it. · The messenger of the L-rd of hosts: This is what a priest is (or should be). v8: You have departed (turned aside) from the way: The priests at the time of Malachi were not functioning as messengers of the L-rd. · Caused many to stumble: Caused many to become offended. · Corrupted the covenant: They have an improper testimony. They have a testimony of not demonstrating the fear of the L-rd and this is having an adverse effect on the lives of others. Priests are supposed to live and act, behave, in a way that brings blessing upon the people. Here we see that they are doing the exact opposite. The reason for this is that they have moved away from a foundational truth – to respect G-d, to revere G-d and to give Him all the priority of their lives. v9: Contemptible: Despised. When we do not revere G-d, when we are careless and casual with His Word, when we do not take our call from Him seriously then we are inviting disrespect, dishonour, and insignificance into our lives. This is what the priests had become in the days of Malachi. · Base: Humiliated. No longer relevant to the people. Today, more and more, spiritual leaders are having less significance in society. They are not respected because they lack respect for G-d. The measure that we use will be measured back to us (Matt 7:2). If we do not respect G-d, we will not be respected. If we do not give G-d priority, then we are going to be seen as irrelevant in society. · You have not kept (guarded) My ways: Are we guarding the things of G-d? This is what we have been called to do. This is what G-d expects us to do – to guard His ways. · Have shown partiality in the law: This statement reflects the corruption that was in the priesthood in the days of Malachi. The law has been given so that right judgements could be made and so that things could be set into their proper order. These priests were meant to be representatives of the law of G-d, basing their judgments upon the standards of the Word of G-d. Instead of giving judgment based upon the righteous standards of the Word of G-d they were showing partiality (they were accepting bribes, they were judging according to what would be in their best financial interests instead of being committed to Kingdom/spiritual things, they were exploiting others). v10: Note: Malachi initially speaks about Israel’s condition in a general sense- looking at all of society and showing that there is a spiritual decay within the people of G-d. This spiritual decay manifests itself through idolatrous practices. The message is simple. If we are not faithful, if we are not conducting our marriages with fidelity, then we are not going to be able to walk with G-d in fidelity. · One Father (is to all of us): As the people of G-d, we are family. There should be unity among believers, just as there should have been unity among the people of Israel. When we do not behave in fidelity to the Word of G-d, we are not going to be faithful to one another. · One G-d created us: We all have one Father, and one Creator. · Deal treacherously: Betray. Living in a way that is disloyal towards someone else. In the same way that a man would enter into a relationship with another woman (other than his wife) so were the people of Israel entering into a relationship with foreign G-ds (practicing idolatry). · Profaning the covenant: The outcome of this betrayal is serious. · Fathers: Probably a reference to the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). G-d had given His promise to the Patriarchs. When we do not conduct ourselves in fidelity toward G-d it is going to affect the promises that G-d has for the people – they will suffer loss. We need to realize that enduring difficult things is worth it. Remaining faithful to G-d in the midst of persecution, remaining in a marriage that may be difficult at times, is ultimately going to be worth it and bring about good results. If we forgo these covenantal relationships, then we are going to suffer loss. v11: Judah: The area around Jerusalem.· In Israel and in Jerusalem: Malachi is referring to all of the people of G-d collectively – those from the Northern Kingdom called Israel, as well as from the Southern Kingdom called Judah. · Abomination: That which is exceedingly offensive to G-d. · Judah has profaned the L-rd’s holy (place): They were insensitive to holiness and to purity. In the temple they had become casual, careless and indifferent to those things that are vital for a right relationship with G-d. · Married the daughter of a foreign G-d: They are involved in idolatrous practices. When we are not faithful in our marital responsibilities, to our spouse, it is going to have an adverse effect upon our worship – our covenantal relationship with G-d. v12: Cut off from the tents of Jacob the man who does this: G-d would cut off a man from the family of G-d or from fellowship if he was involved in idolatry (idolatry and adultery go hand in hand). · Awake: He is conscious. This man is in sin. He knows that he is in sin (he is awake, he is aware of it) but he will not repent of it. This describes Israel in the past, but is also applicable to so many in the church today. We have lowered the standards of G-d. We have differing expectations of what is spiritually right and what is wrong. Although many of us walk around with Bibles in our hands, and although we participate in worship, many of us are far removed from embracing the standards that G-d demands. For this, a man will be cut off, separated, from G-d (1 Cor 5:11-13)· Aware: He understands that he is in the wrong, but he does not care.· (He) brings an offering: This one still has the outward show of serving G-d. He thinks that it’s fine to carry on in an act of treachery against his spouse or against G-d. He doesn’t stop going to the house of worship and acts like everything is ok. The people of Israel were not insensitive to what was right or wrong (they were awake, they had the right answers down pat) but they were insensitive to being able to understand their relationship, their position, with the L-rd at this time.