Malachi chapter 2 introduces a group of spiritual leaders who were dishonoring God.
1 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you.
Looking at the first verse we tend to conclude that God is warning the temple priests.
In the Old Testament, the priests were descendants of the tribe of Levi.
Theses Levites were to serve in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple at Jerusalem.
Professional ministry always is a humble opportunity to serve God – all priests, ministers and clergy are just humble servants of God.
Old Testament priesthood had specific functions:
To honor, reverence God, listen and worship Him.
To follow the highest moral standards in their personal life
To turn people away from their sinful lives
To instruct God’s people according to the Law
To be a messenger of God
Some priests’ main responsibility was to perform animal sacrifices on the altar.
I. PRIESTS DISHONORED GOD’S NAME (2-3)
Serving God is a serious business – God noticed that these priests were not paying any attention to what they do on the altar while sacrificing animals.
Priests forgot that God is a Holy God.
Malachi purposely uses the expression “Lord Almighty” in this passage to convey a message that all powerful, sovereign Lord will not accept such attitude from the temple priests.
The priests were going through ritualistic motions without heartfelt worship.
They were doing lip service but their hearts were far away from the presence of God.
They were exhibiting superficial religiosity in their actions as if they were bored.
God is still giving them a conditional second chance.
God warns that HE will curse them instead of blessing for their careless attitude.
The consequence of rebellious attitude resulted in rejection.
Since they had dishonored God’s Name, God would give them a dung makeup.
He is going to take the excrement from the sick animals and smear it on their faces.
Such self-righteous religious leaders would be defamed with their faces filled with dung.
Rejection leads to removal from their service.
Like the dung and other unclean material from the sacrifices are removed, so also such priests will be removed from His presence.
II. PAGES FROM THE PAST (4-7)
God brings to their memory from the past how their founder father Levi served Him.
God had a covenant with Levi to bless him and his generation of priesthood with life and peace.
Prophet Malachi was reminding the priests of his day that their ancestors served God faithfully and discharged their duties well.
He was pointing to the new generation that they were misleading the people – allowing all sick animals to be sacrificed – dishonoring God – teaching people false doctrines.
III. PRIESTS DEVIATED FROM THE WAY (8-9)
They caused the people to stumble
They violated the covenant with their founder father Levi.
They disrespected the Law
Under the New Covenant, each and every believer is a priest in the sight of God.
We are walking and living temples where God dwells.
Dangerous consequences await those who worship God without any reverence.
Many times it seems that we are bored with God and His worship.
We failed to grasp who our God really is - We lose sight of the important essence of God’s holiness and dishonor Him in worship, in service, in giving and in our way of life.
We do compromise and disobey right in the face of our holy God because we fail to grasp God’s holiness and sovereignty.
We should not forget that we are His priest and temples through Holy Spirit who dwells in each believer’s heart.