The Priest God Loves- Part 1
When we left off in the book of Malachi the last time, we had reached verse 4. In that, we saw the kind of priest the Lord hates. We spent some time in verse 3 as there were some things there that have been interpreted differently throughout church history.
For example, some have translated seed to mean arm as in the arm that the priests do their day to day business in the temple. Their work would be rebuked and neutralized at the altar. It would all be done in vain. Maybe some may be rotten and unable to be consumed. Though true, this was already the case which was the thrust of Malachi 1:10. What seems to come here is something as a result of that vain work, not proclaiming it would be a vain work.
We take the position that seed here means the offspring of the priests. We laid out that the verse, when taken in that context, takes three things into consideration: the sovereignty of God, the timelessness of God, and the seriousness of God’s calling.
God is God. That simple but profound reality often gets overlooked, especially in the church. The sovereignty of God comes into play because God is the all-powerful ruler of the universe. He exercises all authority over creation and carries out every detail of it (Heb_1:3, 1Co_8:6). God means what He says and says what He means (Psa_89:34, Isa_40:8). What He says will come to pass. It is a sure thing. We can bank on it because He alone has the power to do it.
God exists outside of time. He knows the beginning from the end because they have their place in Him (Rev_1:8). Creation has a beginning. God does not. Creation in its current form has an expiration date. God does not. He remains (Psa_90:2, Heb_1:10-12). Being outside of time, He knows the beginning from the end because His decrees are the beginning and the end. God does not make decrees because He sees them happening. He makes decrees because it is how He has already planned for it to happen. God’s prophetic word is not a reaction of God. It is a reckoning of God from His mind.
Spiritual leaders have higher accountability. The calling is high. We do not come to the table making things up as we go. There is a prescribed way that God has laid out in His word for us to think and live. Spiritual leaders are the ones who pass on this knowledge through word and practice.
J. Oswald Sanders in his book Spiritual Leadership said:
Spiritual goals can be achieved only by spiritual people who use spiritual methods. How our churches and mission agencies would change if leaders were Spirit-filled! The secular mind and heart, however gifted and personally charming, has no place in the leadership of the church.
The Bible warns others not to rush into wanting to be a spiritual leader because we are given greater responsibility and a stricter judgment for our actions (Eze_34:10, Jas_3:1). This is why we have a long list of qualifications for the spiritual leader in 2 Timothy and Titus. 90% of the qualifications have to do with character. You have to be ready because the calling is serious and high. The priests in Malachi’s day didn’t take it seriously.
The lack of sober outlook on their calling caused the priests to be careless and offensive to God. The people followed right along. As spiritual leaders of the world, our sin affects more than ourselves. Always. First, it affects and offends God at all times. Then it affects others in the sense that it changes you and has the subtle nuance of damaging relationships and lives in ways we don’t foresee.
False, wrong teaching leads to false, wrong worship. This is what was going on in Malachi’s day. The people followed the priests who were leading the people into false worship. The Lord stated He was going to spread dung over their faces. They had disgraced His name and glory before the people, therefore He would do the same to them referring to their offerings as dung. Again, what people offer on the altar of worship reflects what people think about the object of their worship.
Join us Sunday at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612. Our tune in right here (https://www.facebook.com/BereanHomeFellowship/) for the live stream beginning between 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teaching independence in dependence on God.by