The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 2 Part 3

Our last reading this week is from Malachi 2:13-17
v13: The second thing: This is now more related to the people and the implications of their infidelity. When there is a decline (a lessening of standards and expectations) in the family it affects every aspect of society – bringing about distress, sorrow and difficulty. A spiritually sound marriage is vitally important for bringing G-d’s order into a home. 
·      Cover the altar…with tears: People are grieved, they are full of sorrow and sadness because of this dysfunctional aspect that is plaguing Society.  
·      He: Referring to G-d.
·      He does not regard the offering: G-d is no longer paying attention to their offerings. This dysfunctionality is affecting their worship. 
·      Nor receive it: G-d has no satisfaction in the worship that the people are giving. 
·      Good will: Delight. He takes no pleasure in it. 
v14: Yet you say: The people never agree with G-d. G-d says one thing and the people disagree. 
·      For what reason?: They are indifferent to what is displeasing to G-d. 
·      The L-rd has been witness: The L-rd has testified concerning them. G-d was displeased with the men in regard to how they interacted with their wives. 
·      The wife of your youth: After the passing of the years, his love and commitment to his wife has changed. He now interacts very differently with her than he did when they were first in love. 
·      You have dealt treacherously: He has betrayed her. 
·      Wife by covenant: Biblically, marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. Covenants need to be taken seriously. 
v15: He… (made) them one: Gen 2:23-24
·      He seeks G-dly offspring: G-d is concerned about the next generation. He is concerned about the children. Many people do not take their children into consideration when they walk away from their marriages. As believers we have been called to be overcomers (Rev 2 and 3). This is true even for marriages that may be difficult. Yeshua loved His bride to the point that He went to the cross and suffered and died for her. In marriage we are called to endure and demonstrate this same kind of love for our spouse. 
·      Your spirit: The real you, that inner person.
·      Take heed to your spirit: We need to live correctly. If we do not pay attention to how we live (the decisions we make etc) it will affect the next generation, our children. 
·      Let none deal: This is a command that needs to be taken seriously. 
·      Let none deal treacherously: Do not betray her. Do not forsake your marital relationship.
v16: The L-rd G-d of Israel: It is very important for us to pay attention to the name of G-d that is given to us within a context. Here G-d is called ‘the L-rd G-d of Israel’. The use of this specific name of G-d, within this context, relates to us that divorce adversely affects the people of G-d (the people who are in a covenantal relationship with G-d). ‘Israel’ is a Kingdom word which has implications into the Kingdom of G-d. Marriage is foundational for a family, and it is foundational for a society. 
·      Hates: The tense indicates to us that G-d hates it now and that every aspect of it He has always hated. 
·      Divorce: When a man sent his wife away (in the Old Testament) he gave her a certificate of divorce (Deut 24:1). In the New Testament, Yeshua used the word ‘apostasy’ in regard to this certificate of divorce (Matt 5:31-32. The only grounds, Biblically, for divorce is adultery). Biblically, ‘apostasy’ means a turning away from what is good and right in order to embrace something erroneous.  
·      Covers one’s garments: It affects his testimony or reputation. It affects how people will see him. 
·      Violence: The key aspect of this word ‘violence’ is suffering. Divorce brings suffering into society. 
·      Take heed to your spirit: Repetition shows emphasis. Pay attention to G-d’s instructions regarding marriage. Do not make wrong decisions in regard to marriage. 
·      Deal treacherously: Betray.
v17: You say: The problem is that the people never agree with G-d. They reject His standards of morality.
·      Everyone who does evil is good: They have it wrong. They are calling what is evil good. 
·      Evil is good in the sight of the L-rd: This shows us how far they have removed themselves from the standards and from the perspective of the L-rd.
·      He delights: This is a lie. G-d does not delight or take pleasure in those who do evil. 
·      Them: Those who are doing evil.
·      Where is the G-d of justice?: The people are also refuting this. They are saying that G-d doesn’t care so much about justice these days, He is a G-d of grace. They have perverted Biblical grace, because Biblical grace leads us to obey G-d. Grace leads us into the character of G-d – upholding, embracing and affirming G-d’s standards or commandments (what He says is right and what He says is wrong). These people are saying that if this is offensive to G-d then where is the G-d of justice….why is He not judging it? They do not realise that Judgment Day is coming. 

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