God’s unfailing and unconditional love for His people
What’s it all about?
Malachi begins his indictment of Israel declaring the unfailing love of God for His covenantal people. Unlike their forefathers who had fallen into sin because they were prosperous, those who had returned from the Exile were skeptical of God’s character because of their social, political, and economic struggles. The people struggled to trust God’s promises and provision.
Like Malachi’s audience, we tend to question God’s character, especially the depth and width of His love. Malachi’s message, however, reminds us of the unconditional love (synonymous with loyalty and choosing in the Old Testament) of God for His own. Our response to the unfailing love of God must be: (1) to worship God on His terms; (2) reflect His love in all our relationships; and (3) live by faith in the person and provision of the Savior.
1. How does the Bible define love (1:2)?
2. Who are the particular objects of God’s love (1:2-3)?
3. What does the Old Testament teach about God’s love for His people (1:3)?
4. How would the greatness of God be displayed beyond the borders of Israel (1:5)?
The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 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!” (Malachi 1:1-5 ESV)
When you are tempted to doubt the goodness and grace of God, consider His providential work to both save and preserve you as evidence of His unfailing love. In a culture that is highly skeptical of Christianity and its claims, testify to the ways in which God has demonstrated His faithfulness in your life.