Last Sunday I was preaching partly on the Book of Malachi. My attention was drawn to the curses in that book. Verse 1:14, ‘Cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and takes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished.’ Then the warning to the priests, in Mal 2.2, ‘O priests, if you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name…I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart,’ says the Lord of hosts. Then in the matter of robbing God of tithes and offerings, God says, in Mal 3.9, ‘You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.’ And then, finally, the Lord of hosts speaks of Elijah the prophet, who will be sent before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and ‘will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a CURSE.’
I was speaking on the threefold curse in the Old Testament. First, the curse on Satan, never revoked, in Gen 3.14. The devil is cursed and will suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire. Next, the curse on Canaan; Satan inspired Canaan to deceive Noah into drunkenness and subsequent nakedness. (Habakkuk 3.15 seems to confirm this.) Noah cursed Canaan, and the curse continued. Joshua was sent to exterminate the Canaanites when the cup of their iniquity became full. The Canaanites were involved in sorcery, spiritism and child-sacrifice. Thirdly, the curse of the broken Law. The Israelites had covenanted at Mount Sinai to keep the Law given to Moses, but they failed utterly and the curses in Deuteronomy 27 and 28 came upon them.
Studying the book of Malachi, we come across the treacherous dealings of the Israelites, not only towards their wives, but also towards God. They profaned the name of the Lord by their unfaithfulness and hypocrisy. They violated the covenant of marriage, the covenant of Levi and the covenant of Moses.
Why did Israel become like this? Why this utter failure? I discovered the truth in the same book, subsequent to my message. They did not have the fear of God. Jeremiah 32.40 says, ‘”I will make with them an everlasting covenant… and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so they will never again turn away from Me.”
So we read in Malachi 1.6, ‘If I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the fear of Me?’ says the Lord of hosts to the priests who despise His name. And in Malachi 1.14, the Lord says, ‘I am a great King…and My name is to be feared among the nations.’ Speaking of the covenant with Levi, in chapter 2:5, the Lord says, ‘My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might fear Me; so he feared Me and was reverent before My name.’ Coming to chapter 3:5, the Lord says that He will deal swiftly ‘against sorcerors, against adulterers, against perjurers, and against those who exploit wage-earners and widows and orphans and strangers — because they do not fear Me!’
Continuing on, we come to Malachi 3.16, where we read these wonderful words about the faithful remnant: ‘Those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.’ And finally we come to the glorious promise in Malachi 4.2: ‘Unto you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings, and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves, etc’.
May the Lord put His holy fear into our hearts so that we do not come under the curse!
The Lord bless this little meditation!