From Honor to Shame

Malachi 2:1–5 (NKJV)

2:1 “And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.

2 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.

3 “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants

And spread refuse on your faces,

The refuse of your solemn feasts;

And one will take you away with it.

4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you,

That My covenant with Levi may continue,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace,

And I gave them to him that he might fear Me;

So he feared Me

And was reverent before My name.

As an extension of the disputation that began in the latter part of Chapter one, this passage is the pronouncement of doom upon the priests that allowed the worship of Israel to become defiled.  As a symbol of his disgust, the Lord says that He will spread dung on their faces to shame them and symbolize their unclean bahavior.  He wants to continue His covenant with Levi, but He intends to bring them back to right relationship by identifying their sinfulness and their deriliction of duty.  

This passage brings us to understand that when God’s people sin or fail to worship in a holy fashion, God will allow them to fully experience the result of that sin.  When we see our unfortunate plight without God’s close fellowship, we should understand the need for repentance and right living.  Don’t stray so far that shame comes to your house in the form of dung.  God longs to bless, not curse, show favor, not judgement.  Don’t walk out of the blessed place and into a shameful place!

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