Recently, I was talking with my children and found myself hurt that they didn’t remember something that I thought was a major event in our family unit’s history. How could they not remember? I did. When I read this part of Malachi, I began to understand more of God’s words. In this part, God is addressing His chosen — the Jewish people(currently in two nations of Israel and Judah). He is extremely hurt when His own children do not seem to remember their history and His part in it and lets them know through his prophet Malachi.
Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another? (2:10 NIV)
His people were not even worshiping with each other. They were refusing to acknowledge their common history and Father. Don’t we do that today? Don’t we refuse to acknowledge other denominations because we believe that only ours is correct? Yes, there are ones out there that are not true believers, but the mainstream believers are your brothers and sisters who have slight deviations in their beliefs. Why do you refuse to acknowledge them?
Judah has broken faith. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the LORD loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the LORD cut him off from the tents of Jacob — even though he brings offerings to the LORD Almighty. (2:11–12 NIV)
Now, let’s explain that inter-marriage is not the problem per se. After all, Ruth was not of Jewish descent and neither was Rahab, and both were ancestors of Jesus. The problem lies in what the inter-marriages could bring with them. Ruth and Rahab came into the Hebrew community fully embracing their religion, but most foreign wives were bringing in idols and other forms of worship. That was unacceptable, and that was the problem here. It was the actions that went against the Hebrew faith.
Many of the husbands felt that it was fine as long as the idols could bring solace and peace to their households. But their children are then raised in conflicting, religious households and slowly the worship of God is replaced. King Solomon was a perfect example of this. Even with all his wisdom, he allowed many of his wives (yes, he was foolish enough to have scores of wives) to keep their idols. That opened a flood of future kings worshipping different idols. If only he had stayed faithful and taken control of his house.
Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. (2:13–14 NIV)
Why should God listen to you when you turn a deaf ear to Him, thumb your nose up at His directions, and claim to know more than Him? He is only sought out when you wish for materialistic items. Yet He is always there for you under any circumstance. Where are you today in your relationship with him?
Whatever you do to Him, seems to impact your personal life. How many people were divorcing their wives after finding loopholes in the law even in those days? They pushed away the ones they swore to love in front of God and replaced them with selfish nonbelievers. They insulted His gift! Why should He give you more when have only taken advantage of Him?
Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith. (2:15–16 NIV)
God is pretty strong on the subject of divorce. The reason is that when you first marry you are vowing before Him to stay together no matter what happens. Now, don’t take this out of context. I had someone recently ask me if they were going to hell because they had been divorced. I directed them first to Romans 10:9 which states that to get into heaven, you need to believe in your heart that Jesus was Lord and Savior and died for our sins and resurrected to conquer death. If they truly believed it, then hell is not in the picture. I then asked if the divorce had occurred before the conversion. If their response was yes, then it would not have mattered as it was a pre-conversion life choice. The “sins” of the life before Christ should not play any part in your new life or be a consideration in your walk and calling. If it occurred afterwards, it still does not affect your path to heaven or hell. Consideration of sin and future paths should be explored by Bible study and counseling with your mentor or spiritual leader. Remember that God is forgiving. Even Jesus gave an exception to the blanket “No divorce” rule. He still hates divorce even under this rule. But He understood that adultery was such a deep betrayal that few marriages could ever survive it.
God does not honor a man who cannot keep his vows and treats gifts as trash and forgets where He stand in your history.
How are you treating your spouse? How are you treating God’s gifts? How are you treating God?