Daily Devotional Friday 3rd January 2020

by William Moody

Malachi 2:1–3

The Lord Rebukes the Priests

2:1 “And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring,1 and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.2


[1] 2:3 Hebrew seed
[2] 2:3 Or to it


The people of Israel had an initial period of optimism and zeal for the things of the Lord after returning from exile. That was followed with a time of disillusionment and a lack of zeal for God’s worship and law. The people were offering worship which was half-hearted and which did not cost them much. They had become comfortable but unfulfilled in their worship.

Malachi has previously mentioned the priests’ part in this (1 v6) and he returns to focus on them here (v1). The Lord also returns to the theme of honouring His Name (v2; 1 v6). To ’take it to heart to give honour’ is a matter of the will rather than emotions. This word for curse (merah) is only used in two other Old Testament books (Deuteronomy and Proverbs). Malachi in speaking here might have in mind the curses of Deuteronomy 28 v15-20.

The blessings that were cursed could be twofold, the blessings the priests gave to the people through their ministry and the blessings the priests received from the people for their ministry in regards payment.

The Lord’s language gets stronger in v3 as He now speaks of spreading the dung (offal – the discarded and waste parts of the animals sacrificed) on their faces and carrying them away with the dung which was burned away from the temple. The strength of these words shows the importance of properly heeding and not ignoring God’s words of rebuke.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
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