Summary: God addresses the men of Judah in regards to their marriages

Malachi Chapter 2

Before we jump into this chapter and all that it has to say to the priests of that day, we would do well to remember that under the new covenant, all true believers in Jesus Christ are also priests of God.

A priest is someone who is qualified and commissioned to minister to God on behalf of people, just as a prophet is someone who is qualified and commissioned to minister to people on behalf of God.

Under the Old Covenant, the High Priest entered the Holiest place in the Tabernacle or Temple once each year to offer the blood of atonement before the Ark of God’s presence. In establishing the New Covenant, Jesus Christ entered the Holiest place in Heaven, the throne room of God, and offered the blood of redemption, once and for all time. He is the everlasting High Priest.

Under the Old Covenant, the priests continually, day by day, offered the blood of sin offerings, fellowship offerings, and peace offerings in the Holy Place. Under the New Covenant, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from the practice of unrighteousness. Then we can walk in fellowship and peace with God and with one another. We are priests to our God; a whole race or a whole people of priests.

The prophet Malachi warned the priests of his day that they were guilty of going about their duties in careless ways, and with ungodly attitudes, which did not meet God’s requirements. In the New Testament, we are warned to not treat the blood of the Covenant as something common by living just any old way we please. Paul wrote, “How can we who are dead to sin, live in sin any longer?”

1-2: One of the popular songs we sing at church gatherings: You Are My King, says “In all I do, I honor you.” The lack of honoring God in their hearts was the root sin of the priests who were operating under a curse.

3-4: God made it absolutely clear that these priests would forfeit their positions and their public dignity if they continued. They would be publicly humiliated and forcibly removed. (“Offal” was the waste parts of a sacrificed animal.) This judgment would prevent worse judgment, in that, at least the Levitical priesthood could continue if purified.

5-7: God honored Levi because Levi revered God. Levi spoke life-giving words, turning many from sin, and bringing a prophetic dimension to priestly ministry, just as we can do if we walk before God in true reverence. This is the true calling upon all priests of God, both in the Levitical system, and now for all true believers in Jesus Christ.

8-9: Again judgment was pronounced upon that generation of priests. They also made unfair rulings in matters of the Law.


Please note that God, in many places, had stressed to His people, that they must never marry heathen women who worship false gods. He also stressed the sanctity of marriage, even from the beginning with Adam and Eve, but the men of Judah who had come back to their own land, were adding foreign wives yet again. They were divorcing and even being violent with the wives they had chosen as young men. They were bringing idols into their homes. God was not impressed, and He spoke clearly.

10. Malachi appeals to the covenant that these men had in common. Breaking it meant that they were breaking faith (promise) with each other.

11-12: Being religious (bringing those offerings) can never make up for being disobedient to God’s clear commands. Idolatry cannot continue in anyone’s life and God be pleased with them.

13-15: Tears and pleading with God does not take the place of being faithful to the wife of your youth. God was no longer answering the prayers of these men, and they knew it! God was after godly offspring from His people. He desired to see generation after generation walk with Him in faithfulness.

16: God has always been against divorce and its attendant damage. He clearly hates wife abuse too. Violence in the marriage is clearly very displeasing to God.

17: God had heard enough of empty words spoken by religious charlatans. God is always weary when hearing people who claim to speak for Him call evildoers good. In our age, there is an epidemic of this, from the Muslim who calls the suicide bomber good, who kills innocent people on the sidewalk, to the so-called minister who performs homosexual marriages.


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Brian Stowell

commented on Dec 31, 2020

Loved this sermon...very instructional. The opening sentence was a confirmation of some meditating I have been doing relative to Joel 2:17 and some preaching from Derek Prince. The last half brought to mind the question Jesus asked : Who are my mother and brothers? (Mark 3:33 &34): and James 1:22&23

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