“Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.” – Malachi 2:11
Scripture reading: Ephesians 5:1-32
Malachi uses the example of marriage to illustrate how the people had been faithless to the covenant and to God. When it came to their marriages, the men of Israel were taking foreign wives and marrying the “daughters of a foreign god.” In other words, they were marrying women who remained faithful to other gods. Like Solomon, foreign wives had turned their hearts away from the LORD. Because of this, the people corrupted their worship of the LORD with the worship of idols and other deities. Hence, the LORD charges the people with profaning the sanctuary despite their expression of love for it.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that the relationship between a husband and wife is a picture of Christ and the church. He tells us, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25). How great is the love that Christ has for us that he would give Himself up for us! When people violate the marriage covenant, they are also corrupting the picture of this important covenant relationship Christ has with His people.
Malachi is a relevant book for us today. We’ve become a self-centred, individualistic society in which people regularly fail to keep their commitments. And what is happening with marriages in our culture? Unfortunately, they are failing as they are no longer seen as sacred covenantal unions between a man and a woman. In the covenant of marriage, we also show our commitment to be faithful to Christ as the One we ultimately love.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray the LORD will give you sincerity of heart as you worship today. Pray the LORD will help His people have committed, loving relationships in the covenant of marriage.
Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.