Friday, April 6, 2012

Malachi Bible Study–Malachi 1:2-5

2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’
Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?”
Says the Lord.
“Yet Jacob I have loved;
3 But Esau I have hated,
And laid waste his mountains and his heritage
For the jackals of the wilderness.”

4 Even though Edom has said,
“We have been impoverished,
But we will return and build the desolate places,”

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“They may build, but I will throw down;
They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness,
And the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever.
5 Your eyes shall see,
And you shall say,
‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’

 

Today we are studying a pretty tough passage.  This passage has many differing views.  Most likely there will be some reading this post that also have differing opinions. 

Because this is such a tough passage I am going to share just a little on the topic, but let you do further research to find a good balance for you.  Many great Pastors and Scholars view this passage entirely differently.  Keep in mind that there are things in Scripture that will not be known fully until we meet our Savior face to face.  This possibly is one of those Scriptures.

To really grasp this passage we might want to look further into the lives of both these men.  If you are not familiar with Scripture these two men are twins.  Esau is the older of the two, but before birth it was known he would serve his brother.  You can read their account in Genesis chapters 25 – 36 and beyond.

1:2b – Jacob have I loved.

  • What do you know about Jacob?
  • Who did Jacob marry?
  • Who did Jacob become?
  • Did Jacob follow the Lord?

We know that although Jacob made some pretty bad decisions he had a heart bent toward the Lord.  We know that it was through his line that our Messiah came and he was the father to the well known Joseph in the Bible.  Even his parenting skills had huge issues, but we see that God loved Jacob.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves us even when we make wrong choices or even mess up. 

Yesterday we wrote down on paper how we knew that God loved us.  My first response was because He sent His Son to die for my sin even though I did not deserve His favor.  Because I realize this need for a Savior I see how much I should depend on God for everything. 

God chose me and I chose Him!  This is the same with Jacob.  God loved and chose Jacob and Jacob loved God and chose to follow God’s path for his life.

Now let’s look at Esau.

1:3 – Esau have I hated.

  • What do you know about Esau?
  • Who did Esau marry? Genesis 28:6-9
  • What were Esau’s people called? Genesis 36:9
  • Did Esau follow the Lord?

Psalm 137:7

7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”

Obadiah 1:8-14

8 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
“will I not destroy the wise men of Edom,
men of understanding in the mountains of Esau?
9 Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified,
and everyone in Esau’s mountains
will be cut down in the slaughter.
10 Because of the violence against your brother Jacob,
you will be covered with shame;
you will be destroyed forever.
11 On the day you stood aloof
while strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were like one of them.
12 You should not look down on your brother
in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much
in the day of their trouble.
13 You should not march through the gates of my people
in the day of their disaster,
nor look down on them in their calamity
in the day of their disaster,
nor seize their wealth
in the day of their disaster.
14 You should not wait at the crossroads
to cut down their fugitives,
nor hand over their survivors
in the day of their trouble.

Now that we see a little more background on Esau we understand that he did not love God nor did he want to have anything to do with God.   His decisions opposed God even down to his marriage to a non believer.   His actions were of his choosing and like I said they had nothing to do with God. 

In the Hebrew the word hated in verse three carries along the implication that it is an enemy.  We know by what we read that Esau was certainly an enemy of God.  Esau chose to be an enemy of God.  When we choose to be enemies of God then we also choose to be punished as a consequence of our rebellion.  Edom – Esau is being punished for His rebellion.

Why bring this up to Israel?

I wonder if the Lord is bringing these two brothers up because they have a choice in front of them.  They can either rebel and receive God’s great punishment or they can obey and receive God’s great blessing. 

1:5 – Your eyes shall see, and you shall say,  “The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel.

God can be magnified through punishment or judgment!  When we see God’s punishment on the enemy it reminds us to fall into step with God’s plan.  We are to fear God and respect Him for Who He is.  We are not His equal.  It is easy to think of ourselves as greater than God when we fall out of fellowship with Him.  We might not say it, but our actions speak so loud that our way is better than God’s way!

May we take notice of our own path.  Are we following God’s plan and will for our lives or are we veering onto our own path that will lead us to destruction.  It might not right now, but just like the Israelites it doesn’t take much time to wander farther than we ever wanted to go!

 

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