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February 9 – Harsh words?

“Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.” – Malachi 2:3 

Scripture reading: Psalm 29:1-11

In verse 3, the LORD becomes very graphic by saying that He will spread dung on the faces of the priests and rebuke their children. This will cause them to be despised and humiliated by the people. These proud priests were trying to keep up their image as important and influential men. But God will expose them for what they are, defiled and unclean.

The LORD is saying that because His priests have not honoured Him or His holiness, He is going to take the excrement from the sick animals they are sacrificing and smear it on their faces. Imagine these self-righteous religious leaders with their faces covered with feces! Horrible to imagine, but that’s how serious God is about His servants approaching Him acceptably with right offerings. The LORD is telling these men He rejects them completely. As the dung is to be taken away, so the LORD says He will remove them.

What is the Lord’s desire for you? We are called to honour the Lord and to keep His covenant as those who are in Christ. Your covenant God is not passive about how we treat His name. Are you able to truly prosper if you rebel against Him and His Word? How would you react if the LORD was rebuking you the way He is rebuking these priests? May it be our prayer, LORD, help me not just give lip service to You. Help me to reverence Christ. Help me to truly know Christ as Saviour and to live to glorify Him.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the LORD to give you a right view of the holiness and majesty of God and give you the desire to live in a manner that shows reverence and respect for Him, to live for Christ and not just ourselves.

Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.


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