Malachi 2 – The Blockage of Men and the Love of God
Wednesday, 15th March 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-9 God Knows that Men Profane the Covenant
God’s covenant for us is full of life and peace. This is also the covenant of Levi. In Numbers 25, the Israelites sinned against God and God brought a plague to the people. Numbers 25:7-9 says, “Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.”
When the plague came, Phinehas saw it and got rid of the sins among Israel, therefore Numbers 25:10-13 says, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 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. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 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.’” As God’s royal priests, we must stand firm and know that our prayers are powerful. The covenant and the commandment God has given to us are to bring us peace, not to restrain us. God called us to be His priests, therefore we will also be zealous for God.
All the messages in the Book of Malachi are for us, the people, who God called and gathered, the sinners being covered by the blood of Jesus. We are called to stand in the gap, not for our own benefits, but to bring God’s righteousness and mercy to this dark world. God has made the covenant of peace with each one of us, just as how He made a covenant with the Levi.
V2 ‘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.’ God wants to bless us, but our blessings will become curses when we do not hear and when we do not take His commandments to heart. It’s not God, who does not want to bless us, but it’s us who chose not to receive the blessings, which became curses. What are the commandments of God? To glorify the Name of God, we have taken the glory away from God, we are unable to shine the light of God to this generation of darkness. We cannot reveal our weakness in front of people, and we cannot glorify God. In Isaiah 60, God said His light has come, we must let people see the light of God, not our own light. Are we willing to shine and reflect God’s light? Let the light of God to shine in this world.
V6 ‘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.’ The law of truth is the Gospel of repentance, we cannot just tall the Gospel of blessings but also the Gospel of repentance. We must walk in the Way of God, to walk with God, and He will lead us to help others to repent. Repentance is to walk away from the wicked ways, when we know our sins, when we admit our sins, then we can walk away from our sins.
V7 ‘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..’ It’s easy for us to remember the words of other people, but we cannot remember God’s Word easily. Because we don’t want to let the Word of God because the lamp to our feet and the light to our path. We don’t want to be controlled, to be ruled over, to be restricted… but this is not what the Word of God is about. We only seek God’s love and blessings, and we don’t seek God’s teaching and disciplines. God is love, He is merciful, and He is also righteous. He created the Heaven and Earth to prepare for the people, and when men sinned, God’s righteousness came. But His righteousness is for men to be saved and to repent, He never wanted us to stay in our sins. He longs for us to return to Him so we can restore the first love with Him. God shows us love and trust, He loves us and He is willing to trust us. Do we have the same love and trust for God? No matter how many times the Israelites failed, God continued to help them, to teach them, to talk to them… God’s love is not a spoiled love, but for us to receive life.
V8 ‘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.’ The covenant of Levi is for us to set ourselves apart for God. As the ones being called, we are not only here to praise and worship God in the church, but we must also be zealous for God, to call people to be saved, to teach people the teaching of God, to not worry about offending people, but to speak the truth in love.
V9 ‘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.’ Are we afraid of God’s calling? What is the attitude we have towards God’s servants? We are unwilling to speak the truth, we are unwilling to upset people, and we are unwilling to love the unlovable. Less and less people responded to God’s calling to become full time ministers, because of fear. This is the generation of selfishness and pridefulness, we are too self-centred and we disable the Gospels to be shared over the world.
Section Two V10- God Cut Off Men’s Treacherousness
V10 ‘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?’ God wanted the Israelites to set themselves as holy for God. Can we also do the same today? We want God but at the same time we want the world. We are unwilling to set ourselves apart for God, because we want the enjoyment of the world. We must stop lying to ourselves, we think that God does not know our dark side, and our wicked side. But God already told us that the deep darkness has covered all people, not only the none believers but also the believers.
V13-14 ‘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. 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.’ God wants us to have wives to help us and support us, but do we remember and do we recognise this blessings? We are so easily to take it for granted, whatever our wives do to us, we do not appreciate but allow her to weep and to cry. God has sent help to us, but we don’t recognise it, we want to use our own strength and we look down on the help God sent us.
Section Three V15-17 Must Protect the Hearts
We are the people of God, God has given us a new heart, but do we protect and look after our heart? Do we let God’s covenant and commandments to be kept inside our hearts? We thought we are speaking a lot of spiritual words, but God told us that these are just religious words, fake words, and words without life.
玛拉基书 2 – 人的闭塞 神的爱
一、v.1-9 人背约 神知道
V1-5 神给我们的是“生命和平安的约”。民数记25章记载以色列人被巴兰设计，陷入淫乱的罪，致使全营染上瘟疫。然而，“祭司亚伦的孙子、以利亚撒的儿子非尼哈看见了，就从会中起来，手里拿着枪， 跟随那以色列人进亭子里去，便将以色列人和那女人由腹中刺透。这样，在以色列人中瘟疫就止息了。”（民25:7-8）。神赞许非尼哈有一颗“忌邪的心”（民25:13）。神是爱我们的，也是公义的。神拣选我们，我们每一个跟从神的人都是新约的祭司、利未人，当看见世人有问题的时候，我们有责任起来做分别为圣的工作。神给我们所守的诫命是给我们生命和平安，而不是辖制。天国近了，我们应当悔改。我们蒙神呼召，站在破口，要将神的公义和怜悯带进这个世代，将真理真光带入这个黑暗的世界。
二、v.10-14 人的诡诈 神的剪除
V10-11 神提醒我们要分别为圣，不可与世界苟合。我们却既想要神的祝福，又想要得到这个世界。神知道我们里面一切的幽暗、诡诈，因为幽暗已经遮盖万民 – 包括我们这些信主的人。
V13-14 神赐妻子给男人以帮助他们，我们是否记念神给我们的这份祝福，是否记念妻子的摆上？我们用诡诈待自己的妻子，这些神都知道。当我们没有善待妻子，她们哭泣的眼泪会达到神的面前，以致我们献上多少的祭物都不被神看重，因为我们没有看重神给我们的“帮助”，甚至嫌弃她们。不要忘记自己所娶的妻, 因神在我们中间作见证。丈夫妻子能同工同心，何等美好。