2:1-4 – Just as God’s promises are sure for the faithful, His punishments are certain for the disobedient
Isaiah prophesied about the hardening of Israel’s hearts (Isaiah 6:9-10)
The dung/refuse of the sacrifice was to be taken out of the camp (Exodus 29:14; Leviticus 4:12; 16:27)
Shows the priests were unfit for the service of the Lord
2:5-9 – Contrast between original intent of Levi and what it became
Instead of walking with God “in peace and equity,” they had “departed from the way.” Instead of keeping knowledge and directing the people who sought the law, they “caused many to stumble at the law.” In short, the priests of Malachi’s day had “corrupted the covenant of Levi,” bringing to an end God’s blessings.
2:10-16 – God prohibited marriages with foreign/pagan women (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; Ezra 9:10-15; Nehemiah 13:23-27)
The intent was to keep the nation pure and dedicated to God until the Messiah arrived
These prohibited marriages were often done at the expense of Israelite women
God hates divorce
“What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6)
Exception: fornication (NKJV and other translations as “sexual immorality” is too broad; only fornication is in view in Matthew 19:9)
2:17 – Murmuring wearies God
The sun rises on evil and good; rain falls on just and unjust (Matthew 5:45)
Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it
Review and thought questions
1. How far-reaching is “the curse” of God? Read Deuteronomy 28:15-19.
2. Under the Old Law, the tribe of Levi served as priests for the people of God. Who are the priests today? Read 1 Peter 2:9-10. How must the royal priesthood keep themselves fit for service to the Lord?
3. In what three ways had the priests of Malachi’s day violated the covenant God made with Levi? How can we, as a royal priesthood, avoid the same mistakes under the law of Christ?
4. How careful should one be in choosing a spouse? What spiritual characteristics should be considered?