And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honour 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. 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. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Comment: Remember, and this is the nature of a covenant, there were blessings to follow obedience and curses to follow disobedience. A particular covenant was agreed to by the Israelites when Levi was instigated as High Priest in the time of Moses. The conditions were followed by Levi and the people. Peace. good instruction and uprightness were practiced and many were turned from sinful ways to good living.
But no longer were the conditions being followed so God says (and they were probably aware of it) I have begun cursing you already and it is going to get worse. The entrails and faecal material in the slaughtered offerings were thrown out onto the rubbish tip and burnt. There was a big valley outside Jerusalem used for this in Malachi’s time. Not with gentility but brutal judgement God says ‘I’m going further, I will spread the dung of the offerings on your faces and send you to the pit with the rubbish. [Remember that the meat of the offerings was largely fed to the people to eat.]
Not only have you done evil yourselves, you priests, but you have led many other ordinary people into evil ways. You’ve brought it on your own heads, God says.
Prayer: Help me to be faithful in whatever you call me to be or do for You, O God.