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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Malachi 1

 

 

Verses 1-5

1:1-5 GOD'S LOVE FOR ISRAEL

People may pride themselves that they are God's people, yet displease him through living to please themselves. Malachi learns through experience that when such people are rebuked, they usually take offence. Their reaction is to point out, in a hurt tone of voice, that they are innocent and have been treated unfairly. Malachi's method of dealing with them is to quote their complaints (note the number of times he says, 'You say . . .' or something similar; e.g. 1:2,6-7; 2:17; 3:7,13-15), then to show that they have no right to make such complaints. They should not blame God, but blame themselves.

The people's main complaint is that God does not love them. If he does, they argue, let him prove it to them by giving them comfort and prosperity instead of hardship and poverty. Malachi will soon show them the reasons for their difficulties, but first he wants to make them see that they have clear proof of God's love. This is seen in God's choice of Jacob and not Esau, though there was nothing in Jacob that made him more lovable than his brother (1:1-2).

Jacob's descendants, Israel, have been punished but they are now back in their God-given homeland. But Esau's descendants, Edom, have suffered a judgment from which their nation will never recover. The destruction throughout Edom's land will be a reminder to people of future generations of Edom's incurable wickedness (3-5).


Verses 6-14

1:6-3:18 SINS OF THE PEOPLE

Disgraceful sacrifices (1:6-14)

Israel, as God's people, should honour him as their father and reverence him as their master. Instead they insult him. They offer to God animals that are lame, sick and blind. They would never think of offering such animals to the governor, yet they offer them to God and expect him to be pleased with them (6-9). They would do better to close the temple doors and have no sacrifices at all than to offer worship like that. Even Gentiles offer more sincere worship (10-12).

To the Jews the whole worship ritual is boring. Not only do they insult God by the standard of their offerings, but they also cheat him. When in trouble they promise to sacrifice something of value if he saves them, but once they are saved they give him something worthless (13-14).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Malachi 1:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/malachi-1.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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