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The Scriptorium

The Covenant Profaned

Stay awake and aware. Really. Malachi 2.10-12

Return from Exile: Malachi 2 (4)

Pray Psalm 50.1-4.
The Mighty One, God the LORD,
Has spoken and called the earth
From the rising of the sun to its going down.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God will shine forth.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent;
A fire shall devour before Him,
And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
He shall call to the heavens from above,
And to the earth, that He may judge His people…

Sing Psalm 50.1-4.
(Austrian Hymn: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken)
God, the LORD, the mighty Savior, summons all from east to west:
Out of Zion, rich with favor, shines He, of all things the best.
Come, O God, and keep not silence; fire devours before Your way!
He His Church, steeped in defiance, comes to judge this awful day.

Read Malachi 2.1-12; meditate on verses 10-12.


1. What was happening to show that the people were profaning God’s covenant?

2. How does the LORD react to such profaning of His covenant?

God’s covenant is that everlasting and gracious arrangement whereby He binds to Himself a people to know, love, and serve Him. God was under no obligation to institute such an arrangement. He did it so that a portion of rebellious mankind could know forgiveness, life, hope, joy, and holy pleasure in an eternal relationship with God whom all spurned, but some of whom it pleased Him to save.

The proper response of those who have been so graciously drawn into covenant with God, through the shed blood of His only-begotten Son, is thanksgiving and obedience. The people of Malachi’s day had renewed their covenant relationship with God, and they rejoiced with great joy to be back in a right standing with Him.

But their commitment had no staying power—or rather, no Holy Spirit power—to make it last. Soon the people of Judah began accommodating pagan beliefs and practices into their worship and daily lives, the result intermarriage with pagan women, against which Nehemiah railed (v. 11). Not content to know the LORD on His terms, they reached out their hands, gave their hearts and minds, and took into their religion practices which derived from the lost and rebellious culture of the pagan people around them. In doing so, they profaned God’s covenant and, rather than live together in justice and love, began treating one another “treacherously” (v. 10). They may have sent the pagan wives away, but their influence lingered.

The people preferred captivity to the world to enthrallment with God. And God swore to “cut off from the tents of Jacob” all who treated His covenant with such contempt. People of God today, listen well.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Are we awake and aware? (Mal. 2.12)
Do we know God’s Law? (Ex. 20.1-17; Matt. 22.37-40)
Do we know the holy institution that He loves? (1 Pet. 1.16)
Do we believe that we have one Father? (Deut. 6.4; 1 Cor. 8.6)
Do we know that one God created us and all things? (Gen. 1, 2)
Do we know through His Word what pleases Him? (Gen.-Rev.)

If the answer to those questions is “Yes” then you are awake and aware.

So being in the category of those “awake and aware”, we fall under the same judgment that Malachi called down upon those people in his day, who perpetually and intentionally disobeyed God, and pretended to be His people, while taking His Name upon themselves in vain (Ex. 20.7; Mal. 2.12); if we prefer captivity to the world, as they did.

The covenant God made with us is one He knows we cannot keep ourselves.
That is why He has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us to please Him.
“I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them.
They shall be as though I had not cast them aside;
for I am the LORD their God, and I will hear them” (Zech. 10.6).
“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait I say, on the LORD!” (Ps. 27.14)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4.13).

People of God: enjoy being awake and aware in His Presence, where fullness of joy resides.
“You will show me the path of life;
In Your Presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16.11).

For reflection
1. What is your experience of being in the Presence of God?

2. How do you understand your responsibility as a participant in God’s covenant?

3. Whom will you encourage today to stay awake and aware as a participant in God’s covenant?

Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Malachi 2.10-17

Pray Psalm 50.16-21.
Spend time meditating on your spiritual life—your daily time with the Lord, worship and life in the Body of Christ, and your relationship with the people and culture of your time. Ask God to cleanse you of anything that profanes His covenant and to renew you in the power of His Spirit.

Sing Psalm 50.16-21.
(Austrian Hymn: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken)
“All of you My Word despising, who are you to claim My grace?
Praise may from your lips be rising, but you scorn Me to My face.
You approve of all transgressions, scheme against your mother’s son!
I will crush your vain aggressions and destroy what you have done.”

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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