You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her. Malachi 2:13-14
The Jewish women, discarded by their husbands in favor of foreign women, were weeping at the altar. The men had regarded them as worthless. As covenant partners, the women had been spurned. The men’s hearts were calloused toward the most important person in their lives. But ironically, the men then went to the same altar to make their sacrifices to God. God’s response was clear. Their offerings were unacceptable.
Shouldn’t it have been obvious to the husbands why God turned a deaf ear? It wasn’t. Incredulously, they asked, “Why?”
One Puritan commentator puts it sharply.
- “She whom you wronged was the companion of those earlier and brighter days, when in the bloom of her young beauty she left her father’s house and shared your early struggles, and rejoiced in your later success; cheering you in its trials by her gentle ministry; and now, when the bloom of her youth has faded and the friends of her youth have gone, when her father and mother whom she left for you are in the grave, then you cruelly cast her off as a worn-out, worthless thing, and insult her holiest affections by putting an idolater and a heathen in her place.”
Altars, both public and private, are still being flooded with the tears of those betrayed. Many Christian men and women despise their covenant partners daily. Once outside their home, they are courteous and respectful to others. They present one face to the public and another to their family. No one would guess that this ‘nice person’ could be so cruel to the one who should get their very best. The truth is ~ “who you are at home is who you are!”
If one could discern the thoughts of many in the pew, one would hear the same question posed by the Jewish men. “God, why are you silent toward me? What have I done?” The answer is sitting next to them. The weary and sad countenance of their mate tells the story. May the sound of weeping at the altar come from those who have finally heard the voice of God calling them to repent and reconcile.
You are My Father. You are the One who instituted the most sacred of covenants. Marriage. Show me how to honor my husband the way You honor me daily in your Covenant relationship with me. Amen