Morning Bible Study
Announce: Supper Eight. Israel.
Malachi’s name means “my messenger”.
We think he might have been a priest because of his knowledge of the
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.
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
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,
NKJV) —24 “The Lord bless you
and keep you; 25
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
refuse – peresh –
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
: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)
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.
: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
: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
: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
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)
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
what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an
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
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.
: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
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.
(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
: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
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)
Yet instead of this being an act of protection and covering for a wife, an
unfaithful marriage was turning that protection into violence.
:16 He hates divorce
Keep in mind, God allows for divorce.
The first time divorce is mentioned is in Deuteronomy (Deut. 24:1)
Jesus talked about divorce
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
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
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)
But God still hates divorce.
Whether divorce is for a biblically accepted reason or not, divorce is
extremely painful. God hates it.
Does God hate divorced people?
No, He does not. What He hates is
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
It’s a miracle that any two people stay together.
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
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.
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 treacherously – bagad –
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
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
The Bible speaks of the preborn as people.
John the Baptist recognized Jesus the Messiah, while they
were both in their mothers’ wombs.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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?