God allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah because they had completely turned against him; they had rejected his commandments; and they worshiped false Gods. They were taken into exile, but in time God miraculously restored them to their land. With his help they rebuilt their temple and the walls of Jerusalem. Throughout the story, their unholy self-love brought about destruction in two areas: in their own hearts, and in their families. Once again God raised up a prophet, Malachi, to call them out, because after all this they continued to love themselves more than they loved God.
Read Malachi 2:1—17. The Israelites continued to distort God’s teachings, devising ways to enrich themselves, and hiding their misdeeds behind a facade of lies.
I. The root of the problem: The Priests no longer taught God’s Will. Malachi 2:1-9
- Why does God say he will send a curse instead of blessing upon the people? (v.2)
- What was it about Levi, the priests’ ancestor, that God said was lacking in the priests of Malachi’s time? (v. 5-6)
- Malachi taught two important things honorable priests should do. Note them. (v. 7)
- How has it affected your life when someone in authority or someone you respected misled you?
- When it comes to our spiritual life, what has God provided to guide us?
Many voices speak into our lives. In fact we are sometimes overwhelmed with so much information and conflicting opinions that bombard us each day. However we have access to one reliable source of help. God will lead us through his Word if we allow him to. Some use the things they don’t understand in God’s Word to excuse them from obeying the things they do understand. Keep reading, learning and trusting the Bible. Do not give up and you will be surprised how much help we receive when we ‘hide his words in our hearts.’
The Psalmist wrote: “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114 ESV)