GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS!
Today we read the book of Malachi
(It’s only four chapters)
Today, we complete the foundational scriptures of the Father. It has been such an honor to read through this with you and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart to the top of my very soul for the blessings you’ve given me. Having said that, make sure you take your vitamins before you go to bed tonight. Tomorrow, we begin the gospels! Push your sleeves up and come ready to be amazed!
I’m going to address Malachi as a whole since it is such a small book so my statements may seem a bit out of order but they build upon one another so just hang in there with me. If you haven’t read Malachi yet, I think it would help if you did before diving into these notes.
Malachi is a book of reckoning, where rubber meets the road. In this case, the road is the father and the rubber is the believers who insist on living according to their own wisdom and their own ways instead of the fathers – yet they are utterly confused and astounded as to why the father refuses to bless that.
Out of all the books we have read, I feel Malachi most closely represents the body of believers today. We could take this book and superimpose it over the body today and we’d match up point by point in this conversation with the Father.
We begin Malachi with a statement that may seem odd to our modern thinking brains: “I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated.” Let us read the whole section and talk about it.
The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. “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 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 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.’” Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!” Malachi 1:1-5
In this passage, we see YHWH using Jacob as representative of the Israelites and Esau the Edomites. We see that Esau, himself was, in fact blessed (Genesis 33:9) so this further reinforces that the Father is referring to the peoples each represents rather than the individuals.
With regards to hate and love in this passage, some translations use the word “rejected” in place of hate and I think that helps us to wrap our heads around this and is closer to the intended meaning. Think of loved as “embraced”. So we see the dynamic of one being embraced while another is rejected.
There is a struggle in Malachi 1:3-5 wherein YHWH destroys the work of evil and evil tries to rebuild only to be laid to waste time and again by YHWH.
We see, throughout the Bible, that the Edomites took joy in the destruction of Israel (Ezekiel 35:15, Psalm 137:7), exploited Israel whenever they could, and generally behaved in ways that brought the curse of YHWH upon them (Genesis 27:29). They violated YHWH’s chosen people and as a result, He rejected them but held fast His love of Israel, just as He said He would. Because:
YHWH’s Word will always prove true.
There is an absolutely pivotal statement by the Father in Malachi that, if we believe what the Father says, can turn our spiritual lives on their heads, open up floodgates of understanding, and help us to walk in His joy and blessings like never before: “I am YHWH, I do not change.” Malachi 3:6
Stop a minute, close your eyes and see that verse.
I am YHWH, I do not change.
The implications of this single statement give us, as a modern body of Believers, cause to evaluate and recalculate everything in light of our worship vs His Word.
Malachi goes on to focus on proper worship of YHWH by offering examples of a people who worship Him their own way, with lackadaisical obedience.
You’ll note that the Father offers up indictments against them on various things throughout this book and each time they respond with essentially “But wait, how have we done that?”
You despise my name.
How do we despise your name?
You offer polluted offerings.
When have we offered polluted offerings?
This discourse goes back and forth. Each time the Father calls them on their sin, they have the audacity to question Him but honestly, I think they mean it. I think they really, truly, are surprised that He is not accepting their offerings and halfhearted worship.
Their attitude is clear in their actions: They bring their least valuable animals for offerings rather than their best, they commit sin, don’t repent and express disbelief that He doesn’t bless them, they even speak against His name. Pay careful attention to all that the Father condemns in their behavior. Notice, time and time again, their halfhearted lack of reverence and then their confusion that this behavior is not acceptable to YHWH.
This, to the reader, is both exhausting and heart wrenching to read. But what is worse?
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:17
Wearied YHWH. The God of steadfast love and faithfulness. The God who has guided us, taught us, freely and generously given us His Word and forgiven us time and time and time again. These people have wearied Him. Whoa.
They even snort (Malachi 1:13) and say that this is weariness, still intent that their ways are just fine, good enough, and, well, enough. EVEN in the face of YHWH’s condemnation.
They still think they are obeying Him! When faced with His clear condemnation, they argue that they have done just fine. They argue! How crazy is that? They consider their actions ones that He should reward!
This is like a parent telling a child “You are disobeying me.” And the child saying “No I’m not, I’m a great kid, probably the best among all of your children. You should be thankful and reward me.”
Again, the important thing to note here is that the people think they are just fine.
They see themselves as worshiping Him and doing all that they are supposed to do, even when faced with the clear contradiction between their very actions and His very word!
You have wearied YHWH with your words. But you say “how have we wearied Him?” By saying, Everyone who does evil is good in the site of YHWH, and He delights in them.” Malachi 2:17
Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape. ~Malachi 3:15
Now, here is the thing. I bet when you read that you thought of one particular sin or one particular group of people.
But how many of us thought of the body of Believers, the church?
How many of us thought of ourselves?
Because YHWH was not speaking to people of the world here.
He is speaking to those who call themselves by His name.
And in reality, each of the indictments against them can easily be added to and placed against the body of believers today.
If He does not change, then why have we decided He has?
By what gall do we give ourselves authority to ignore His clear instruction and worship Him as we choose, living our lives according to our own ways and declaring that a good thing in His eyes?
He is God, He does not change.
No matter how strongly we insist He has.
The solution lies in humbling ourselves, kneeling before Him, praising Him for His mercy and Him for His grace.
You see, mercy and grace are two different things.
- Mercy is when we are living in willful disobedience of the Father and He withholds righteously due judgement.
- Grace is when we are doing our best to submit and walk in His ways and He forgives our errors when we stumble along the way.
I sure don’t want to be living under mercy. I want to be found living under grace. And boy, have I lived under mercy far too often, while saying I was under grace.
Now, let us read the rest of that passage.
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says YHWH. Malachi 3:6-7
This is a great, mighty, and repetitive theme of the Bible. Return to Him and He will return to you.
I’ve said it many times but I hope you’ll indulge me many more…
Yes, Father, we are returning!
Addendum (added after I recorded the notes). Below is a passage from Malachi that I wrote out and marked up. Within these three verses, three different conversations are taking place. I don’t believe it is a stretch to consider that these three conversations are taking place today as well.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!