Drinking Deeply

Monday, July 03, 2006 at 12:12 AM

Malachi 1

I just finished reading through a commentary on Malachi, and I figure it would be a good excercise to paraphrase the book. It's a good read. Read it for yourself, this is just what I came up with.

Malachi 1: The Lord's name shall be great and feared among the nations.

Ch. 1

Throughout this chapter the Lord emphasizes the greatness of His name and how it will be feared among the nations. Israel will see the destruction of Edom and glorify the Lord. Offerings will be brought by nations. Pure offerings will be required. The chapter begins with the Lord promising that He still loves Israel, even in spite of how harsh He rebukes the people through the rest of the letter.

The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

Election (1:2-5) – I still love you.

I love you Israel. This is how: Jacob I loved and Esau I hated. I have laid waste his heritage. Edom is not allowed to rebuild. The Lord will tear down and they will be called “wicked country.” You shall see this and glorify the the Lord.

God uses individual election (Jacob and Esau) as support for collective election (Israel and Edom). Edom will be torn down and hated forever, God's love for Israel will last forever.

Priests' Polluted Offerings (1:6-14) – Rebuking the priests.

To the priests who despise my name: I am your father. I am your master. Where is my honor and fear? And yet you ask “how?” You offer polluted food! “how?” You say that the Lord's table may be despised. You offer blind animals in sacrifice. You offer lame or sick! This is evil. Even the governor would not accept these offerings! Now you turn and ask the Lord to be gracious? He surely will not show any favor to you! Oh that the doors to the temple would be shut that you would not waste effort kindling fire on my altar. I have no pleasure in you and I will not accept your offering. For my name will be great among the nations, and they will all offer pure offerings to me. But you profane it. You say that the Lord's table is polluted and the offerings may be despised. You see it as a burden and bring what is lame or sick or is stolen. Do I accept this? Cursed be the cheat who vows a pure sacrifice yet offers what is blemished! I am a great King and my name will be feared!

Following quick on the heels of how he loves Israel, he rebukes the priests. The priests were offering blind and lame sacrifices, those that even the governor would not accept. This was offensive to God. It is interesting that God states clearly that it would be better that the temple would be closed than they waste His time. For His glory He demands His priests offer pure sacrifices and stop despising His altar. Cursed be those who lie about their offerings!

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