How Not to Worship: Bad Teaching

Kevin DeYoung

READ : Malachi 2:6-9

For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge . . . because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. (v. 7, NIV)

The third problem with Israel’s worship was unfaithful teaching. It is hard to overemphasize the importance of good teaching. One of the main causes of Israel’s waywardness was “[because] for a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law” (2 Chronicles 15:3). Without good teaching, the people faltered. Speaking by the prophet Amos, the Lord listed his judgments for Israel’s sins: famine, drought, blight, and plague. Those judgments were dreadful enough. But worse was to come: “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord, ‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord“ (Amos 8:11-12, NIV, italics added).

The church needs pastors devoted to “Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13, NIV). Ministers must be diligent students of the Bible and committed to its teachings. The story is told that the philosopher David Hume went to hear the evangelist George Whitefield preach. Someone said to Hume, “But surely you don’t believe what Whitefield preaches?” To which Hume replied, “No, I don’t, but he does.” Both world and church need preachers who believe and proclaim the Word of God.


Lord, bless us with good teaching. Amen.