I’m going to do something a little different this week. We just finished the Book of Haggai and the Book of Zechariah follows it. Since Zechariah has fourteen chapters, I thought I would post ‘The Bible Project’ video for Zechariah,( which gives a very good overview of the Book) and then move on into Malachi. The video is just a little over 8 min, so I hope everyone will have the time to view it.
1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
The Lord’s Love for Israel
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’” 5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
The Priests’ Polluted Offerings
6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
My Bible’s Commentary 1:1-5
God’s grace is not based on our works but on his sovereign, predestining love, as demonstrated in his choice of Jacob over Esau (vv. 1-4). This explains God’s continuing undeserved grace to Israel, while Edom was deservedly cut off for their sins. Initially, the assurance that this covenant love extends to Israel may seem good for Jews yet limiting for others, but Malachi hints at a grander consequence (vv. 5, 11). What is more, since God is sovereign in election, he can extend his mercy more expansively upon whomever he chooses, Jew or Gentile, as the apostle Paul will make plain using this same example (Rom. 9:1-24). God’s faithful commitment to his people (from the ranks of both Jew and Gentile) is possible because the destruction that all his chosen ones deserve for their sins has been poured out on Christ. Ethnicity is not the issue; faith in Christ is the banner under which people can gather from all nations.
Malachi reaffirms God’s love for his people, before he begins to condemn their sins and failures. When we forget God’s love and faithfulness to us, we lose our motivation to obey him and may blame God’s perceived unfaithfulness or unfairness for our sin.
1:6-14 Malachi shows how God’s people can go through the motions of orthodox worship and yet be wasting their time and wearying the Lord (cf. 2:17) with insincerity and selfishness. The message remains the same for us: True worship comes as our hearts are stirred afresh by God’s amazing grace in sending Christ to be the perfect worshiper in our place. He gave the perfect and undefiled offering for us, and his merit is now credited to us by faith.
The result of Jesus’ offering is that God’s own people are restored to worship, and true worship is extended around the world. Jesus came to be a light not just to Israel but to the Gentiles as well.
Luke 2:32–a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.
Because of his ministry, the incense of believing prayers and the worship of devoted hearts is offered not just in Jerusalem but to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8–But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
It is so important that we never forget how much God loves us. When we ask for forgiveness, he forgives us over and over again. I know there are times when I might be really stressed, worried or scared and at those moments I start saying or singing the words to the first song I remember learning, ‘Jesus Loves Me’. He will, point out our sins to us, but he still loves us like no other.
Please post any thoughts you may have about this chapter, other verses, songs or any uplifting articles that you may have read recently that shows God’s love.
I wish everyone a very blessed day.