The people were living in an uneventful period where God seems to be far away or have forgotten His people. It was after the exile and the Israelites have finished rebuilding the temple and the wall, but the land they live in is still barren and life is hard. So the people continued their religious duties monotonously. The Messiah that had long been promised still didn’t turn up.
As you begin, picture the situations the Israelites were in. Again, comb through the whole book first, and then as you re-read, ponder upon the questions below.
The Word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi whose name means ‘Messenger’. It begins with Israel questioning God’s love and God affirming them that ‘He had loved them’.
Malachi 1:6 – 2:17 The Israelites have shown contempt for God’s name.
As you read this portion,
- List down the things that the people and the priests did not showed contempt for God’s name.
- Think about ‘how will God’s name or honour would be at stake if the people and priest continue to do what they did.
Malachi concluded by bringing Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) into the picture. Why did he end it this way?
If God says ‘I Love You’
If God says ‘I have loved you’, what will my response be?
I asked myself how much do I really love God? The least I can do is to give Him the honour due His name. But the Israelites – the people and the priests, both the individual and community, showed disrespect to God by offering blemished animal when they have vowed to give an acceptable male in their flock. They also dishonored God in their lives.
Why and how come they did this?
Am I no different than the Israelites?
Perhaps sometimes we also do the same. We give what’s left of our sacrifice, energy, effort to God because we think that He can just ‘close one eye’ and He understands the difficulties we face.
The Israelites have been waiting for the Messiah to come. And we now are waiting for Jesus’ second coming which seems far away to bother about how we actually live our lives. No point serving God when those who don’t, get their way or are more successful. No point doing what is right.
His name is feared among the nations!
God will not accept such offering of our lives. He is not pleased, who will? I thought to myself, if someone did something nice to me just for the sake of getting something from me, I will wish that I never receive that kindness. God will not accept the offering from us. Great is the Lord beyond the borders of Israel and His name is feared among the nations.
Hey, God doesn’t need to beg us to be good Christians. The Law was given not to restrict us but that we may be set apart for Him to be His people.