Home  Library  Donate

Malachi 2

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 11, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

Announce:  Supper Eight.  Israel.

Malachi’s name means “my messenger”.

He was a messenger for God.

We think he might have been a priest because of his knowledge of the priesthood.

Malachi ministered during the time of Nehemiah.

Malachi wrote somewhere between 450-400 BC.

Malachi is not only the last book of the Old Testament, he was the last voice, the last prophet to speak of the coming Messiah until John the Baptist.

After him there will be four hundred years of silence from God until the coming of Jesus.

In Malachi’s day, the people had returned from exile in Babylon, the Temple had been rebuilt, and the Temple worship had been restarted.

Yet the nation is once again in spiritual decline.

The last chapter ended with Malachi rebuking the people for bringing to God bad offerings, bad sacrifices, like offering God the leftovers or the cast offs.

2:1-9 Corrupt Priests

:1 “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.

:2 If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name,” Says the Lord of hosts, “I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart.

:2 I will curse your blessings

One of the jobs of a priest was to bless the nation with these words,

(Numbers 6:24–26 NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’

And yet because of the priests’ own rebellion against God, their “blessings” were only bringing curses on the people.

:3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants And spread refuse on your faces, The refuse of your solemn feasts; And one will take you away with it.

:3 spread refuse on your faces

refuseperesh fecal matter, dung

Sounds pretty gross to me.

There would be something happening to shake up the world of the priests, kind of like having poop spread on their face, it would make them realize that they need to straighten up.

:4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, That My covenant with Levi may continue,” Says the Lord of hosts.

:5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, And I gave them to him that he might fear Me; So he feared Me And was reverent before My name.

:4 My covenant with Levi

Levi was one of the tribes of Israel that all the priests came from.

When the rest of Israel worshipped the golden calf, it was the Levites that stood with Moses. (Ex. 32:26)

(Exodus 32:26 NKJV) —26 then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.

When many in the nation were tempted into the immoral worship of Baal Peor, it was the priest Phinehas that took a stand against the immorality (Num. 25:11)

(Numbers 25:10–13 NKJV) —10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’ ”
Phinehas had stopped the idolatry at Baal Peor by killing an Israelite man who was having sex with a Midianite woman.

:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, And injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, And turned many away from iniquity.

:7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

:6-7 He walked with Me …

This is how the tribe of used to be, a description of what ministry is supposed to be all about.

Walking with God, turning people from sin, knowing God’s Word, and speaking for God.



In a way, the “priests” could be like the pastors or spiritual leaders today.
Yet the New Testament also says that we are ALL priests.

(Revelation 1:6 NKJV) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father

A priest is a go-between.

It is someone who grabs God with one hand, and man with the other.

It’s someone who speaks to God for men, and speaks to men for God.

You can see qualities that ought to be in all of our lives

:7 the messenger of the Lord of hosts

Sounds like Malachi’s name.

:8 But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” Says the Lord of hosts.

:9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law.”

2:10-12 Mixed marriages

:10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?

:11 Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The Lord’s holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god.

:12 May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!

:11 married the daughter of a foreign god


Marriage to unbelievers

One of the problems of Malachi and Nehemiah’s day was that the Jews were beginning to take wives who worshipped other gods (Neh. 13)
Nehemiah confronted the people:
(Nehemiah 13:25–27 NKJV) —26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin. 27 Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women?”
Nehemiah even recorded that many of the priests had married pagan women.
Paul wrote,
(2 Corinthians 6:14–15 NKJV) —14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
If you are serious about your relationship with God, and yet you are romantically involved with someone who is not a believer, you are going to have problems.
Your life will be drawn in God’s direction, and their life will not.
Don’t tell yourself that they will one day become a Christian.  There’s no guarantee.
If you are in the dating game, the first thing you should look for is the issue of being a strong believer, not the last.

2:13-17 Divorce

:13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.

:13 cover the altar of the Lord with tears

When the Jews of Malachi’s day married unbelieving women, they did it after first divorcing their Jewish wives. 

The divorced wives were weeping before God’s altar, and God was now going to be deaf to the men and their prayers.

Peter wrote,

(1 Peter 3:7 NLT) In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
Husbands AND wives, the way you treat your spouse will have an effect on whether God answers your prayers or not.

:14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.

:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

The first part of the verse is a difficult passage to translate.  Here’s a different version:

(Malachi 2:15 NLT) Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.

One thing is hinted at here – there is a connection to the impact on children (“godly offspring”) with faithfulness in the marriage.

:16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”

:16 covers one’s garment with violence

coverskacah – to cover, conceal, hide

garmentlebuwsh – clothing, garment, apparel, raiment

violencechamac – violence, wrong, cruelty, injustice

Marriage was symbolized in the Old Testament with a man spreading his “garment” over his wife, just as Ruth asked Boaz to spread his covering over her. (Ruth 3:9)

(Ruth 3:9 NLT) —9 “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”
Yet instead of this being an act of protection and covering for a wife, an unfaithful marriage was turning that protection into violence.

Your life, your “garment” becomes stained with “violence”

This is why God hates divorce

(Malachi 2:16 NLT) …To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty”
(Malachi 2:16 The Message) …“I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.”
(Malachi 2:16 NIV) …“does violence to the one he should protect”

:16 He hates divorce

hatessane’ – to hate, be hateful

divorceshalach – to send, send away, let go, stretch out



Keep in mind, God allows for divorce.
The first time divorce is mentioned is in Deuteronomy (Deut. 24:1)

(Deuteronomy 24:1 NKJV) —1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,

Jesus talked about divorce
(Matthew 19:7–9 NKJV) —7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
Paul talked about divorce
(1 Corinthians 7:15 NKJV) But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
From these verses, we have identified some allowable reasons for divorce.

Perhaps even applying to Abuse

Isaiah and Jeremiah record that God divorced Israel. (Is. 50:1; Jer. 3:8)
(Isaiah 50:1 NKJV) —1 Thus says the Lord: “Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce, Whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? For your iniquities you have sold yourselves, And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.
(Jeremiah 3:8 NKJV) —8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.
But God still hates divorce.
Whether divorce is for a biblically accepted reason or not, divorce is extremely painful.  God hates it.
I think that some people get divorced too quickly.
I think others should have been more careful before they got married.
Sometimes it just happens, and we throw up our hands wondering that happened.
Does God hate divorced people?
No, He does not.  What He hates is divorce.
Can I protect my marriage from divorce?
There are no guarantees.  A marriage is made up of two different, independent minded people.  Both have to participate.

Video:  Tim Hawkins – Losing Our Minds Together

It’s a miracle that any two people stay together.

Hard Work

Don’t be fooled by the marriages you admire – most good marriages I know are maintained by hard work.

Figure out what it means to love your spouse.

Work at it for the rest of your life.

Get counseling if you’re in trouble

It’s nice if you want to counsel with a pastor, but be willing to invest some money in a licensed, professional counsellor.  Some issues are beyond what a pastor is trained for.  Is your marriage worth that kind of investment?

Keep coming to church

Article on Divorce Statistics

The latest statistics show that when people are coming weekly to an evangelical church, they have a better chance of staying marriage.

We’ve all heard that statistics show that only 1 out of 2 marriages will survived.

Yet that has now been proved incorrect.

That number was based on the fact that for every divorce recorded in the courts, there are two marriages.

What that statistic doesn’t account for are the number of people who have divorced more than once, nor the number of people who have lost a spouse through death.

There are no official statistics on divorce and marriage.

Yet a 2009 Census report records that 72% of respondents were still married to their first spouse.

We’ve often been told that divorce statistics are the same with people who go to church and those who don’t – but that’s not correct either.

When people were asked about their marriages and whether or not they had been to church in the last seven days, the divorce numbers dropped 27%, and when asked if they attended an evangelical church, the numbers dropped even more.

Keep coming to church.

It’s not a magic pill, but there is something to staying exposed to other believers who are struggling and following Jesus just like you.  There is value in staying exposed to the truths of the Bible.

:16 do not deal treacherously

deal treacherouslybagad – to act treacherously, deceitfully, faithlessly


Faithfulness in marriage

The opposite of “treachery” is faithfulness.
Faithfulness means you can be counted on.  Faithfulness means that you’re committed to the marriage for the long haul.
Video:  Steadfast Stanley
When it comes to our marriages, God wants us to be like “Stanley”, and stay faithful, even if we have to go through a zombie apocalypse.

:17 You have wearied the Lord with your words; “Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord, And He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?”

:17 Everyone who does evil Is good


Confusing good with evil

Our society has come to the place where several things that are clearly identified in the Bible as wrong, as being accepted as being “good”.
I’m afraid I’m going to offend some of you, but I need to speak clearly on these things.
Choice (Abortion)
Next Sunday is “Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday.

It’s supposed to be a day to remind us that life is precious, even the life of the unborn.

The Bible speaks of the preborn as people.

John the Baptist recognized Jesus the Messiah, while they were both in their mothers’ wombs.

(Luke 1:44 NKJV) For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

David wrote,

(Psalm 139:13–16 NKJV) —13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

And yet in our society, we have made is acceptable to allow the life of a baby to be taken because the pregnancy is inconvenient.

I know the arguments about allowing babies to be born into families that can’t raise them correctly.

I know that arguments about how unfair it is for a young woman to have to take the brunt of the responsibility for the birth of a baby because of the heat of passion with a young man.

But does that make it acceptable for the baby to pay the price with its life?

Sexual orientation
Our society has come to the place where we have put “gay rights” on the same page as “racial equality”.

It is now extremely unacceptable to publicly hold to what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Video:  My Husband’s Not Gay

Wikipedia tells me that when Robin Roberts speaks, she is a practicing “christian”.  It also tells me she has a longtime girlfriend.  And she is telling us that it’s now “dangerous” to instruct adolescents regarding homosexuality.

We live in a confused world.

The world wants to tell you that a gay person is born with a predisposition towards same sex attraction.

I’m not sure I’m aware that this has actually been proved yet.

I’d like to cautiously point out that as of yet there is no “gay gene”.  Scientists claim they will find it one day, but it has not been found.

And yet we have come to believe that it’s already a done deal.

To me, the issue is not about whether a person has a same sex attraction.

I frankly don’t know why it occurs.  I have suspicions of various things affecting a person, but it almost seems different things have affected different people.

The point is not whether you are “attracted” more to one sex or another.

The issue is whether you act on your attraction in an inappropriate way.

I find myself attracted to the opposite sex.

But does that make it right for me break God’s law and cheat on my wife simply because I have a biological/chemical reaction to a person of the opposite sex?

In the Bible, homosexuality is no different from other kinds of sin.

(1 Corinthians 6:9–11 NKJV) —9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

What about a person who feels “compelled” to cheat on their spouse?  Does that make it right?

What about the person who feels “compelled” to take things that aren’t theirs? (kleptomaniac)  Does that make it right?

What about a person who feels compelled to drink?  Does that make it okay?

The issue is not what you are tempted with, the issue is how you respond to temptation.

The world would make you think that if you talk about homosexuality as a “sin”, then you must therefore hate homosexuals.

I have to tell you, I don’t.  I really don’t.

A person who acts on their homosexual impulses is a sinner, just like I am a sinner.

And Jesus came to be a friend to sinners.

Yet He loves us too much to let us stay in our sin, He challenges us to be different.

Paul wrote,

(1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Are you a sinner who needs to be saved?