“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.” – Malachi 2:1-2
Scripture reading: Malachi 2:1-14
Notice that because they didn’t honour the LORD, they didn’t bother to listen to Him. The term “listen” means to hear intelligently and to respond with obedience. To “take it to heart” refers to an active decision of the will. He also warns them that if they do not take it to heart to honour His Name, He would curse them. In fact, He had already cursed them. Not a good position to be in! It was time to pay attention and listen up. But they didn’t seem to care.
The first step down the slippery slope of superficial religion is to dishonour the LORD and His holiness. A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” And yet, because of God’s love and grace, He offers them a chance to return. Look at the very first word of verse 2, “If.” God is giving them a condition and if they persist in their wicked ways, then He will punish them. On the other hand, if they turn to God and set their hearts to honour and obey Him, then He will give them His blessings.
Should we not also take it to heart to make sure we are giving honour to the name of Christ? If you are seeking to be obedient to the LORD by grace through Christ, then thankfully enjoy His blessings. However, what happens if you ignore Him and don’t bother to listen to His Word? Don’t be in a place where He sends His curse upon you.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the LORD to help you pay attention to His Word and that you will be able to more and more die unto sin and live unto righteousness through Christ Who makes you holy.
Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.