Malachi “Mal-ah-kee” in Hebrew means “My messenger” or “my angel” writes Bible editor Dr. Cain Hope Felder. Malachi wrote one hundred years after the remnants of the Hebrew nation returned from Babylonian captivity. The Hebrews built the Temple of the Lord; they offered sacrifices. The priests searched for blessings from Yahweh, but they did not love Yahweh. The hypocritical and lazy priests did not do the work of God. They felt depressed. The land subjected to a shortage of water impacted the yield and quality of the crops. God’s Messenger cautioned the priests to give God two things: 1) their utmost loyalty and 2) faultless obedience.
This last prophet of the old testament made God more personal to me. I learned 3 key points that helped me to better understand God’s heart.
First, God communicates that He is angry with the priests because they despise His name. He wants them to honor, fear and glorify His name in Malachi 1:6-8Amplified Bible (AMP).
God wanted His priests to give their best sacrifices instead they gave the least desirable animals. This reflected their lack of honor and fear of God’s name.
When I sign songs of praise for others to hear and see, I give God my best. While worshipping God and giving my best, I sense the Holy Spirit helping me to honor God’s name by leading my worship.
Secondly, when God communicated to the priests and (I believe to us as well), they needed to hear and take to heart what God says. Otherwise God warned them that He will curse their blessings.
Malachi 2:1-2 (King James Version)
And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
How many of you possess cursed blessings like these priests and perhaps do not even realize why?
Why do you refuse to take to heart what God says in His words?
You esteem God’s name when you obey His words to us. I believe when we truly love God, glorifying His name comes naturally with us. When we love God, we hear what He says, we take to heart what He says, we glorify His name and God blesses us. This blessing will not come with a curse.
Lastly, we make God weary when we refuse to obey His words to us in the Bible. For example two christian friends once said they sin every day. One, specifically, said she does not need to keep God’s ten commandments because Jesus keeps it for her. I firmly believe these comments weary God! They certainly weary me! There are many people who do not know Christ that do not sin every day. What is sin? Sin is the transgression of God’s laws.
We must develop wisdom regarding God’s words to us! This requires that we not only hear what God says to us, but we must take God’s words to heart. When we honor God’s words to us and take them to heart, we give glory to His name! God wants our worship! He does not want us to weary Him with our foolish words that do not honor His name.
Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
When we hear and take to heart what God says rather than using our own corrupt thinking, this brings honor and glory to God’s name. This shows we trust Him when we trust His words to us.
A teacher asked, did Jesus really expect the woman caught in adultery not to sin anymore? He said Jesus told her go and sin no more. Then he turned and asked us, did Jesus really mean that she should go and sin no more? Christ spoke clearly without ambiguity. Go and sin no more is what He expects from each of us.
Malachi gave me a glimpse into the heart of God. God became more personal to me. First, I discovered a highly intelligent God communicating His feelings of anger towards His priests that despises His name. God desired His priests to honor and fear His Holy name. Secondly, I heard God say that these priests need to both hear and take to heart what He says. God wants His leaders to learn to listen and obey what He says. Thirdly, God gets weary when His priests say the opposite of what He says to them. God threatens to curse their blessings if they refuse to honor, fear and glorify His name. When we refuse to obey God’s words, we dishonor God. This wearies God. Malachi’s warning to these priests resonates within my heart. I believe these words are for each of us today to understand the mind of God and what He expects from us: glorify His name and worship Him alone!
We serve a good good Father who holds us up!