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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Malachi centers around the question of Yahweh's love for Israel. This is spelled out in the second verse of chapter 1. I noticed right away that God's answer as to how He loves Israel is the verse quoted in Romans 9, "I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated." I just like to read this side of those Old Testament quotes. Anyway, it seems as if Israel asks Yahweh "How have you loved us?" and it opens the door to Yahweh telling them how terrible a job they have done of loving Him (the core of everything about Israel's relationship with Yahweh, Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

So in verse 6 of chapter 1, Yahweh asks them, "If I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear?" He goes on to tell them all the ways that they have failed at loving Him. Their offerings are polluted, blind, lame, and sick (remember all the emphasis in Leviticus on sacrifices being unblemished?). When talking to the priests in chapter 2, He points back to Levi, the father of the priests. He says that Levi "feared Him and stood in awe of His name." Basically Yahweh is telling the priests that they were set aside for a purpose and they are doing a terrible job.

In chapter 2 verse 10, Malachi begins to speak instead of Yahweh directly. He attacks Judah's disobedience of the covenant all the way back to Moses. They have taken foreign wives and ignored their own (2:11,16). Verse 17 now brings up something very interesting and something completely relevant to today. I'll just read it.

"You have wearied Yahweh with your words. But you say, 'How have we wearied Him?' By saying, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of Yahweh, and He delights in them.' Or by asking, 'Where is the God of justice?'"

Does that sound familiar. How many people in the world will say that we're all good in God's sight. Everyone is okay. That it is self-righteous and exclusive to say that you need Jesus to not experience God's wrath. If you haven't heard this you haven't been listening. This is a huge thing. No one wants to acknowledge that we cannot be okay with God. And the next question is ironic considering the first statement. "Where is the God of justice?" We have two ends of the spectrum here and they almost always end up being the same people. People will say that we are all okay with God and then scream for Him to be fair when someone else gets something we think we deserve or we get pain in our lives. These people are operating under the assumption that they are deserving of something other than the wrath of God. That would be just. That is what our evil has earned us. Okay rant over. Sorry I got into a little there.

The next part is another awesome promise of the Messiah. First John the Baptist is promised and then Christ. Here He is called "the messenger of the covenant." Interesting considering all the breaking of the covenant that is coming out in this book. Malachi calls Him a refiner's fire, who will purify the sons of Levi. The end of chapter 3 is another dispute between Yahweh and Israel. Yahweh is upset because the people are withholding their tithe. He is upset because it is showing a lack of trust in Him (3:10). He even challenges them to test Him on whether or not He will bless them.

And finally in chapter 4, it is the coming of Yahweh. This is not talking about this first coming of Christ, but His second coming in wrath against "the arrogant and evildoers." He gives hope to those "who fear His name" by telling them that they will tread down the wicked under the soles of their feet. The last three verses are a call to remember the law of Moses and then a prophecy that Elijah will return before the day that Yahweh comes. We know this now to be John the Baptist.

Well, I am done with the Old Testament. I'm going to write something about it in just a bit and then maybe a look into what will happen in my reading of the New Testament. Again, I hope that this is cause enough for some of you to read the things that I am reading.

All for His glory,

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