Malachi 2:11
Judah has broken faith; an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the LORD's beloved sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god.
Sermons
Unholy MarriagesW. Osborne Lilley.Malachi 2:11
Worship Spoiled by the Tears of the InjuredR. Tuck Malachi 2:11
The Minister of Divine TruthHomilistMalachi 2:4-17
God Our FatherA. Scott.Malachi 2:10-12
One FatherHomilistMalachi 2:10-12
One FatherD. Thomas Malachi 2:10-12
The divorced and abandoned wives went to the courts of the temple "with tears, with weeping, and with crying." "Their wail of lamentation mingled with the prayers and hymns of the sacrificing priests. How could the Lord 'regard the offering any more, or accept it at their hands,' when attended by such accompaniments?" The point forced on attention is this: Here were men bringing their sacrifices, and offering their prayers for God's blessing. And at the same time, here were the injured women praying against their prayers, and pleading that their worship should not be accepted. The tears were spoiling the worship. There is scarcely a thought more solemn and searching than the thought that few, if any, of our prayers go up to God unqualified and unchecked. We pray for, something prays against, and God withholds the blessing because the balance is in favour of the "against."

I. WE MAY PRAY AGAINST OUR OWN PRAYERS. It is said of St. Augustine that for some time he prayed," Lord, convert me, but not yet." That was himself praying against himself. When duty prays one way and heart another; when we are not quite sure whether we want what we ask for; and when we are careless about receiving the answer, - we really pray against our own prayers. God may see our real prayer to be something quite other than our words.

II. OTHERS MAY BE PRAYING AGAINST OUR PRAYERS. This may be done unreasonably, and then God makes the prayer against strengthen the prayer for. Or it may be done reasonably, as when the cry of the widow, the fatherless, the divorced wife, the sweated workman, or the neglected sufferer, goes up to God against us. It would be well sometimes to ask ourselves whether there can be anything praying against our prayers. - R.T.







And hath married the daughter of a strange god.
The Jews were commanded to keep themselves separate from the heathen nations around them (Deuteronomy 7:2, 4). This was necessary that they might maintain their position as custodians of a peculiar revelation, and as abiding witnesses of the existence of the true God. But they often disobeyed this requirement, and formed idolatrous connections. This evil was now prevalent. Nehemiah and Ezra sought to remove this evil, and now Malachi strongly condemns it.

I. THIS EVIL MAY NOW BE COMMITTED LITERALLY. Similar religious sympathies can alone form a true basis of connubial Union. Without religion marriage loses its sanctity, and is merely a convenient alliance, a worldly compact, a carnal revel. Every woman that is not truly devoted to God is "a daughter of a strange god." She is under the influence of the god of this world. Christian men, for the sake of sensual and worldly considerations, sometimes marry such idolaters. They do so when —

1. They marry women who sacrifice their noblest feelings for wealth.

2. Who have bound themselves upon the altar of fashion.

3. Who sacrifice their holiest impulses for pleasure.

4. Who are devoted to the triumphs of ambition.Christians should not violate their union with Jehovah to unite themselves with idolaters. To do so, even under the most plausible circumstances, is —

(1)To disobey a Divine command.

(2)To lose the Divine blessing.

(3)To incur the Divine displeasure.

II. THIS EVIL MAY BE COMMITTED SPIRITUALLY. The soul's union with Jehovah is often spoken of in the Scriptures as marriage. God expects us to unite ourselves with Him in the closest bends. From this celestial marriage spring all virtues and graces. But men have joined themselves to idols. The worship of strange gods has been most prolific in pernicious customs, degrading vices, and dangerous errors. Men marry the daughter of a strange god spiritually —

1. When they join themselves with popular customs which have emanated from the spirit of idolatry.

2. When they embrace false and erroneous systems of religion.

3. When they associate themselves freely with unholy religionists. God requires His people to separate themselves from all the fascinating forms of evil. All unholy unions are as breaches of a marriage covenant, or as marriage with an idolater. They are a voluntary preference of evil to God.

III. THIS EVIL, WHETHER COMMITTED LITERALLY OR SPIRITUALLY, WILL PRODUCE DISASTROUS RESULTS.

1. Literally. It will result in —

(1)Domestic unhappiness.

(2)A divided household.

(3)Ill-trained children — probably generations of evil-doers.

(4)Neglect of the true religion on the part of both.One religion matching with another not seldom breeds an atheist, one of no religion at all.

2. Spiritually. It will result in —

(1)Blindness in spiritual things.

(2)Loss of the Divine favour.

(3)Wandering in deceptive errors.

(4)Loss of religious influence.

(5)Being given up by God.Learn to guard against uniting ourselves with anything that will separate us from God. An evil association has often been a devil's chain, binding the soul to everlasting wretchedness.

(W. Osborne Lilley.)

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