Judah has been faithless [unfaithful to the covenant], and abomination [egregious sin] has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem [all over the land and even in the Holy City]. For Judah [the people of God] has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god [committed spiritual adultery, which is idolatry]. May the Lord cut off [divorce] from the tents of Jacob [promise and covenant] any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts! — Malachi 2:11-12
So can we agree that God is a little hacked off right here? But I want you to understand why he's so angry. And the best way to illustrate this is using the covenant of marriage.
So let's say me and my wife get married. Which we are. And let's say together we make a covenant to God to be faithful to him all the days of our lives, which we have done. But then, let's say one day, I choose to be unfaithful on a trip. I sleep with another woman and give no thought to my wife, just to my own sexual desires. I break my covenant. We would say I have been intentionally unfaithful. This is called adultery. It has happened because, in my heart, I have idolized another woman. Idolatry has led to adultery. On top of this, I have broken the covenant I made to God with my wife. And even worse, I have put my family and another family in a challenging position.
So, how do you think my wife will respond in this situation?
Well, she's going to be pretty hurt and angry. I have broken a covenant I made with her. But remember, I have made a covenant with my wife but to God. So while I have hurt and offended my wife, the person I have broken the covenant with is God. Marriage is God's idea and his institution, not ours.
So let's take this example and reconsider this text. God made a covenant with his people. But the problem is his people have not been faithful to him. They have been committing idolatry which is synonymous with adultery. They have been sleeping around with other gods. And while they thought nothing of this, all this egregious sin was abhorrent to God. And yet these adulterers continue to come to the Temple. They continue to offer sacrifices to God. And they continue to expect God to bless them. Remember, these people were pretty angry that God was not blessing them. But God isn't gonna bless them. He is going to reject them and all their descendants. Just like my wife isn't going to bless me if I am sleeping around.
The lesson is this. Don't take lightly any covenant you have made with God. He does not take lightly the covenant he made with you. His covenant cost his Son his life. He is willing to give it all for you, and he expects the same. So be faithful and be blessed in the faithfulness.
ASK THIS: Is there anything you need to get right today?
DO THIS: Refresh the covenant.
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for the covenant you have made with me. I am making a new covenant with you.
PLAY THIS: All Creation.
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