In The Word
Read Malachi 1-2:9
God’s Love for Jacob
The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have You loved us?” “Wasnot Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointedhis inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.” Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins”; thus says theLord of hosts, “They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them thewicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever.”Your eyes will see this and you will say, “The Lord be magnified beyond theborder of Israel!”
Sin of the Priests
“‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?’ says the Lordof hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, ‘How have we despised Your name?’ You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is to be despised.’ But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the Lordof hosts. “But now will you not entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?” says the Lord of hosts. “Oh that there were one among you who would shut thegates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you. For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you are profaning it, in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’ You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the Lord. “But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices ablemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,” says the Lord of hosts, “and My name is feared among the nations.”
Priests to Be Disciplined
“And now this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the Lord of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart.Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant maycontinue with Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. “My covenant with him was one oflife and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so herevered Me and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. “So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways but are showing partiality in the instruction.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
We should never be like Esau. He had no respect for his birthright and sold it for a meal. He also married the daughters of Canaan who brought grief to his parents. Esau was only concerned with himself and instant gratification. He made a series of bad choices based on his flesh and his will. Jacob, on the other hand, feared the Lord. The Lord is worthy of our love, honor, and respect. The Lord loves us. God demonstrated that love by sending His only begotten Son to die in our place while we were yet sinners; He loved us first (1 John 4:9).
We should also never be like Cain who brought God the leftovers instead of his first and best. We wouldn’t even consider offering that to those we love, honor, and respect. Yet would we offer that to God? Do we really think we can fool God? In the midst of that wrong, God showed Cain how much He loved him. He told Cain that he could change and decide to do right. However, Cain had no love or respect for God and allowed his sin to control him. He fought against God’s loving correction. What about our heart and our attitude toward Him today? Are we only concerned with what we want? Do we complain about serving God and giving to God? Do we bring Him what’s left over instead of our first and our best? If we have done that, we can decide today to change and do right. Love, honor, and respect Him above all else. Walk in His blessings today.