FAITHFUL TO GOD
Father, I pray that your grace, mercy, and peace, together with truth and love, may fill my heart as I meet with you today.
Read MALACHI 2:10-16
Breaking Covenant Through Divorce
10 Do we not all have one Father[a]? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?
11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove him from the tents of Jacob[b]—even though he brings an offering to the Lord Almighty.
13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[c] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[d] says the Lord Almighty.
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.
- Malachi 2:10 Or father
- Malachi 2:12 Or 12 May the Lord remove from the tents of Jacob anyone who gives testimony in behalf of the man who does this
- Malachi 2:15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
- Malachi 2:16 Or “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on God’s faithfulness to you in your life. Thank him.
Speaking about his relationship with us, God uses as his image the covenantal commitment (v 14) of marriage. Generations of God’s people have stayed faithful to him, but it is clear that this community, named here as Judah (v 11), has been unfaithful. They are desecrating God’s holiness, disobeying God’s teaching, and destroying their relationship with him, through both intermarriage and unfaithfulness within the marriage (vs 10,11, 14-16). As C.S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters: ‘Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.’*
Little by little first love can ebb away – it is clear to God, but perhaps not to the one who is turning away (vs 13,14). You weep because God doesn’t seem to favor you any longer – but it’s your own fault! ‘Watch out!’, says God. Just as human unfaithfulness is deeply hurtful and impacts on others, so unfaithfulness to God grieves him and has consequences for others (v 15).
And, our unfaithfulness to God and each other doesn’t make sense. We are all children of one Father, all created by one God (vs 10,15). He longs to continue his care for us (vs 15-16) – and he is faithful.
Are you being tempted today? Walking with God on his path is the only choice that brings both life and peace. Ask God to help you to stay faithful to him.
Yes Lord, by the Holy Spirit, reveal to me ways in which I am being unfaithful to you, and to others. I confess these failures to you and embrace your forgiveness.
*CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Geoffrey Bles, 1942
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