Daily Word

Take it to heart | Malachi 2:1-4 (NLT)

1 “Listen, you priests—this command is for you! 2 Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning to heart. 3 I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile. 4 Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Malachi 2:1-4 (NLT)

Priests in the sights

God takes aim at the priests again for their failure in service. They were “going through the motions” of service but their heart wasn’t in it. As we talked about yesterday, the heart is what matters to God. Their sacrifices were an offense to God; they completely disrespected Him. They didn’t honor Him as holy.

The punishment

The punishment is kind of gross. God would take the excrement that was inside the sacrificial animals – which was to be burned outside the sanctuary (Exodus 29:14) – and spread it on their faces. I don’t think He literally would do that. God’s meaning, I believe, is that their actions were as if they had poop all over them and that they couldn’t serve Him at the altar. Rather, they needed to be taken outside and burned.


Even in this stern rebuke, there is hope. God’s desire was to continue the covenant with Levi (see tomorrow). “This shows the motive for God’s discipline against these ungodly priests. The LORD hoped that this would warn the priests back to a proper respect of His covenant.” (enduringword.com)

That gives us hope that when our own hearts grow cold to His service, He will let us know – mostly through His Word and the Spirit inside us, but also through the body of Christ. When we repent and cleanse our hearts, He will quickly restore us, but there may be consequences. Take His worship and honor to heart. “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39 NASB95)

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