“And now, you priests, this warning is for you. If you won’t listen and if you won’t consider giving honor to my name,” says the LORD of Armies, “then I’ll send a curse on you, and I’ll curse the blessings you give. Yes, I’ve already cursed them because you don’t carefully consider this. “I’m going to punish your descendants. I’m going to spread excrement on your faces, the excrement from your festival sacrifices. You will be discarded with it. Then you will know that I sent you this warning so that my promise to Levi will continue,” says the LORD of Armies. “I promised Levi life and peace. I gave them to him so that he would respect me. He respected me and stood in awe of my name. The teaching that came from his mouth was true. Nothing unjust was found on his lips. He lived with me in peace and honesty and turned many people away from sin. “A priest’s lips should preserve knowledge. Then, because he is the messenger for the LORD of Armies, people will seek instruction from his mouth. “But you have turned from the correct path and caused many to stumble over my teachings. You have corrupted the promise made to Levi,” says the LORD of Armies. “So I have made you disgusting, and I have humiliated you in front of all the people, because you have not followed my ways. You have been unfair when applying my teachings.”
The prophet Malachi lived about 400 years before Christ was born. He was the last prophet before John the Baptist. The warning that he gave was to the priests, not the people, nor the king as other prophets had been.
The condition for escaping the wrath of God was simple, listen and consider giving honor to His name. God certainly wasn’t asking a hard thing of them. He only asked that they, as His messangers, preserve knowledge and give good instruction to His people.
And what were the consequences of disobedience? They were harsh, very harsh
- their blessings become cursed
- excrement from there sacrifices smeared on their faces
- Discarded with the excrement.
- punispunish even to descendants
Why was the punishment so harsh that even their descendents were punishment? These priests had not only turned away from God’s path but they had also lead others astray by giving false teaching.
As a preacher I am very aware of my duty and responsibility to God and my listeners and readers. I would never intentionally lead others astray and I pray that, no matter what words I speak, that the people hear the message that God has for them. I also stress that it is each persons responsibility to do their own study of the scriptures and to pray for and listen for the Holy Spirit’s leading. It is their eternal soul at stake.
Now hear this, being a child of God and a follower of Christ cuts two ways. We are responsible to God for ourselves continuing on the right path AND we are responsible for not misleading others.
Father, forgive me for the times I’ve wandered from your path. Lord also forgive me for anytime that by my action or inaction others may have between lead astray. Also, Lord, don’t hold them accountable for my error. And more importantly, set their lives back on the path you have laid out for them.