Lent Devotional: Malachi 2:7-9
by Jonathan Haefs
Today’s devotional is authored by Allison Davis
For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.
Don’t you love those moments when you’re reading Scripture and think, “Wait, THAT’S in the Bible??”
God telling unfaithful priests he will spread dung on their faces? Yep. That’s in the Bible.
Malachi is a prophet who exposes the deep corruption within Israel following the Babylonian exiles’ return to Jerusalem. In our text today, God, through Malachi, gives a message of rebuke to Judah’s priests. But before we begin thinking that this chapter recorded thousands of years ago does not apply to us today, let us remember that in Christ we have become
“a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
Christians have been made a kingdom of priests whose duty it is to proclaim God’s excellencies! Therefore, the warning given through Malachi can apply to us: “the lips of a priest should guard knowledge…for he [or she] is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Yikes! A messenger of God? Do you feel unqualified yet?
Lent is a season of repentance, and I believe we should take some time today to reflect and repent if we have “caused many to stumble by our instruction.” Have we furthered injustice but masked our actions with the name of Jesus? Have we shown partiality to some and neglected others? Have we led others into sin? Let us repent, brothers and sisters. Our God is willing and able to forgive us.
Let us also take comfort in the fact that God has sent his Spirit to dwell within us! We can by no means be a royal priesthood on our own. We need some supernatural help, amen? Thanks be to God that the Holy Spirit guides us, convicts us, comforts us, and helps us live holy lives.
Spend time in prayer today confessing your failures as an unfaithful priest, then remember God’s love and grace to you. Let us press on, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the excellencies of the Lord who called us out of darkness! We now live in marvelous light!