March 29, 2020, Malachi 2:1-9; 3:5-6 – ISSL Reflections

Our passage this week from Malachi identifies the groups of people the Malachi wants to hear the “command [of] … of the Lord of Hosts.” Take your time with the passage and notice who is addressed and the “charges” against them.

Malachi 2:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version)

And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse on you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.

Know, then, that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may hold, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was a covenant of life and well-being, which I gave him; this called for reverence, and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in integrity and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. 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 have not kept my ways but have shown partiality in your instruction.

Malachi 3:5-6 (New Revised Standard Version)

Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.

Who do you find the prophet is speaking to?

It’s fairly easy to notice that first the priests are identified. What are the charges against them? Are they the only ones the prophet is speaking to? What are the charges against them?

And how might the charges against the priests relate to the charges against any others?

And maybe we would do well to notice how the prophet characterizes “The Lord of Hosts.”

Spend some time with the prophet’s words and we will get back together later.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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