|some do ministry under a mask|
The Dangers of Unfaithfulness and Insincerity in ServingMalachi 2 warns against unfaithfulness and insincerity among Christians who serve God and do ministry. This 5-day devotional study unpacks truths from the chapter that Christians can apply in their faith walk.
Reading: Malachi 2:1-3
Marked verses: vs.2-3
- Malachi is serious about faithfulness in service. Here again, the Lord emphasizes the need to take service to heart, to honor and love God sincerely, and to not “seemingly serve” thru mere ritual offerings.
- The warning against priests here is very serious. Withdrawal of blessings, reaping of curses, ineffectiveness in service, removal from office, discontinuation of lineage, and utter humiliation are very serious consequences for an insincere servant of God.
- The Lord desires our utmost sincerity and love in whatever we do for His Name. The consequences for the insincere servant can be very serious and permanent at times.
- For who God is, He deserves only our utmost, nothing less.
Reading: Malachi 2:4-9
Marked verses: vs.5-7
- The serious consequences we see in vs.2-3 are proof that this rebuke comes from God. The priests (Levi and his descendants) were God’s spokespersons to His people. He made a covenant with them for they feared God, they respected and honored Him, they gave the people true instruction, they walked with the Lord in peace and righteousness, they counseled many to turn away from sin, and they kept God’s words. Many sought counsel from them.
- But the priests in that day had deviated from God’s instructions and they have distorted truth. Instead of bringing people to God, they have turned the people away. Since the covenant with Levi has been corrupted, God had to cleanse his line in order to restore the covenant promises.
- God allowed them to be despised and disgraced for all to see.
- Today, we have many such preachers and teachers who instead of bringing people to God they turn them away to corrupt teachings. Worse, they encourage them to compromise and accept ungodly trends.
- Preachers and teachers ought to teach the truths of God’s Word and preserve the practice of Biblical principles.
- Like these priests, many preachers today have twisted the Word and established “seemingly” biblical traditions to suit their own desires and to meet their selfish ends.
- Many of them are outright intentional with this. With some who do it unintentionally, there's clearly a lack of knowledge and wisdom that comes with constant communion with God.
- Today, every Christian is tasked to teach the truth and to guard the practice of Biblical principles.
Reading: Malachi 2:10-12
Marked verses: vs.11-12
- Israel is supposed to be one nation, yet it is divided, rendering the covenant God made with them ineffective. Instead of choosing to value their own people, men went as far as marrying pagans who influenced them into idolatry. Yet in all of this, they still try to make offerings to God, trying to earn His blessings.
- To some of the Jews that time, the Mosaic covenant was outdated and obsolete already for their ‘modern’ age, and needs some rethinking what portions are to be followed. This is often how many think of the Bible today.
- Today, many Christians try to “earn” God’s favor by being “faithful” to church activities and ministry involvements while stubbornly continuing in their sin. In the hopes that God would “understand” and overlook their sin, they try to cover it up with hypocritical service and supposed worship.
True worship and service require a pure heart, for sin will have no place in God’s presence. No amount of ministry involvement nor diligence in service and attendance can ever cover up one’s unfaithfulness to God. God only listens to the humble, who repents and forsakes whatever it is that comes between him and God. The one who tries to mix sin and service will not only be unsuccessful but will also face serious consequences.
Day 4Reading: Malachi 2:13-16
Marked verses: vs.13, 16
- Another area of hypocrisy and unfaithfulness God points out here is their regard of marriage. The Jews have become so desensitized to sin that they’ve regarded marital infidelity as common and normal. Even while living an immoral life, they saw nothing wrong with trying to offer to God and seek His favor without repenting from their sin.
- God also clarifies here His original intent for marriage.
- Our faithfulness to God carries over to all aspects of our lives, most especially our relationships. Faithfulness is what God desires from us and it requires sensitivity against sin. You cannot continue in sin while serving and worshipping God.
- Marital infidelity is a serious offense. God clearly abhors this sin and He ceases from hearing and blessing the offender.
- Divorce carries pain, distress, and disgrace. God allowed it because of the stubbornness of the Jews (Matt.19:8) but it was not God’s original intent.
Day 5Read:Malachi 2:17
Marked verse: vs.17
It was sad to see Israel displease God continually, to the point of being weary (anthropomorphic language) with their complaints. They have become so desensitized and oblivious to sin that they’ve begun erroneously concluding that God has overlooked and accepted their sins and even ‘blessed’ them. Some, on the other hand, questioned why God allowed evil to be ‘blessed’ while the ‘righteous’ suffer.
- A person who continues in sin will eventually be so calloused as to justify the activity and wrongfully regard God’s mercy & grace period as God accepting the sin and blessing him still. God’s mercy & grace period are meant to give time for a person to repent.
- God may allow temporal blessings for non-believers (Matt.5:45), but the eternal punishment that will come outweighs any earthly enjoyment or even sufferings. This is God’s Goodness and Justice.
photo credit to vojta_kucer