I. Malachi is the last book of the OT. 400 years of silence followed it. Malichi predicted such a drought. The name Malachi means: My Messenger. Malachi wrote this book about 396 B.C. toward the end of Nehemiah’s rule in Jerusalem. This book only has four chapters and begins in the days of a corrupt priesthood, which had developed into two major divisions: The Pharisees and the Sadducees. The theme of this book is a controversy between G-D and His people. It is as relevant today as it was then.
In verse 1 we read: I have loved you, says the L-rd. Do we really believe the L-rd loves us. does our lives reflect this conviction. Do we blame the L-rd when we go through rough times? What was the their reply?
v 2. says: But you ask, “How have you loved us?” And G-d replies:
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Yet I have loved Jacob, but
Verse 3: “ Esau I have hated, and turned his mountains into a wasteland, and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. Laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
There’s been a great deal said about this word “Hated.” Does G-d hate? We know He hates sin. But what about men and women. Does He hate you? That is contrary to everything we know of G-d, isn’t it. Therefore, we need to take a little time to explore and explain this passage.
Strong’s concordance lists this word in the Hebrew dictionary as:
8130. sane’, saw-nay’; a prim. root; to hate (personally):–enemy, foe, (be) hate (-ful, -r), odious, X utterly.
That sounds like G-d hates to me. Nevertheless, we know the whole counsel of G-d in the Scripture teach G-d is Love. We need to explore this a little further.
Scofield Noted: That the statement that G-d loved Jacob but hated Esau, must be taken as relative rather than abce of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.31 And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing.36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob?( Now Jacob means supplanter) for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not be helped! G-d’s word in Malichi speaks volumes and with the time allotted it just can’t be handled in one session. There’s so many life applications that it could serve as the source of many sermons. Malichi points to the coming Messiah and we will also see prophecies delivered specifically to us about the end time. This was G-d’s last word before Yahshua and He foretells what is to befall the nations in “The Day of The L-rd”, the euphemism we all understand to mean the end time, the coming to an end of treserved a blessing for me?
37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy L-rd, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
Probably all of us sitting here are feeling sorry for Esau. He’s lost everything he was entitled to as the first son. In those days this meant his priesthood as the spiritual leader of his clan as well as material wealth. Couldn’t G-d have rehabilitated him After all Jacob was no shining example of honesty and right dealing. From our point of view this would seem like the fair option.
So we ask Why? Why would G-d pass Him over and select Jacob. One thing to remember is we are not G-d and we can only judge as man judges. G-d sees the heart. Would we have called David a “man after G-d’s own Heart” ? This should give us pause when we are inclined to prematurely judge fellow believers.
So, How do we settle this delimer First, we have to look at why Esau give up his birthright so easily. He was concerned with the here and now. Read the story! He was a materialist. He didn’t hold the spiritual gifts of G-d as of much importance. He sold his birthright, G-d’s promises, for a bowl of lentil soup and bread. He had no vision. He was a here and now person. We all know people like that. They must have instant gratification. Little children are like that. Immature Christians are sometimes like that. As a result their priorities are all wrong.
We in the US are known as the greatest materialist society the world has ever witnessed. We are known as the consumer society. We can’t deny it, collectively , our god is materialism. We are hated for our plenty and like Jacob, we are not overly concerned with the things of G-d. We have been blessed by G-d because of past faithfulness and I believe because of our support of Israel, but our priorities are wrong. We peddle our influence through the promise of the almighty dollar. We use our wealth to make other countries do what we want, for political considerations. To strengthen our dominance and power. Is that wrong? Are should we use our wealth to promote G-d’s revelations in His Word. Malachi is relevant and shouldn’t we take notice of his prophecies. But, you ask , what has this to do with G-d hating Esau. Let us continue.
We read: That when Esau understood that Jacob had got the blessing, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry.
NOW Understand that the day is coming, when those that now make light of the blessings of the covenant, and sell their title to spiritual blessings for that which is of no value, will, in vain, ask urgently for them.
Isaac loved Esau and when he made sense of the deceit practiced on him, he trembled exceedingly. There’s a lesson there for those who follow the choice of their own affections, rather than the Divine will. They get themselves into a predicament. But Isaac soon recovers, and confirms the blessing he had given to Jacob, saying, I have blessed him, and he shall be blessed. Those who part with their wisdom and grace, their faith, and a good conscience, for the honors, wealth, or pleasures of this world, however they feign a zeal for the blessing, have judged themselves unworthy of it as did Esau. (This is a clue why G-d said Esau I hated.) But lets go on. Isaac in his love bestowed a common blessing upon Esau. This he desired for he loved Esau. Faint desires of happiness, without right choice of the end, and right use of the means, deceive many unto their own ruin. Multitudes go to hell with their mouths full of good wishes. The great difference is, that there is nothing in Esau’s blessing which points at Christ; and without that, the fatness of the earth, and the plunder of the field, will stand in little stead. Thus Isaac, by faith, blessed both his sons, according as their lot should be.
And to this day we see the battle still going on in the Middle East between Esau’s and Jacob’s descendants because Esau despised his inheritance and the promises of G-d. Would anyone have believed that so much trouble should result from such a “little thing.” G-d’s message is that “spiritual things” had better be our first priority. We live in a world dominated by Esau’s spirit and as a result believers also experience trouble, grief and problems, but we have Yahshua and the written Word of G-d to rely on and trust and if we truly do trust we mature and find that joy that defies definition.
On the other hand all around us we see marriages break up, children degenerate into drug addicts, crime rampant, and all manner of evil resulting from despising G-d’s promises and His spiritual things.
So why did G-d hate Esau and Love Jacob. Because the spiritual insight of Jacob was far greater, and Jacob became the one through whom the promised seed (Yahshua the Messiah) was to come. Let’s take our study a little further. The comparison of the good things done for Jacob with those done for Esau is like the difference between loving and hating. But let’s let scripture comment upon scripture. Seek the whole counsel of G-d that we might be approved worthy and discerning.
Compare Luke 14:26, the statement that if a man does not hate his father and mother he cannot be a disciple of Yahshua. Now we know that G-d commanded us to Love our mother and father. No Believer can hate his father and mother. What is meant then is that our love for Yahshua should be so great that, in comparison, the love for father and mother would seem almost like hate.
Are there other scripture relating to this; yes.
Scriptural Reference regarding the word hate: Gen. 29:30,31 De 21:15,16 Lu 14:26
Gen: 29:30, 31 – 30 (We read where Jacob went into Rachel) And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah,
31 And when Adonai saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
Lets go own without comment.
In the Law we read from: Deu 21:15, 16 – 15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
Luke 14:26 – 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
What does all this pertain. Back to Strong’s and we see in Hebrew that the root means:
Strongs: 3404. miseo, mis-eh’-o; from a prim. misos (hatred); to detest (espec. to persecute); by extens. to love less:–hate (-ful).
Maybe we could translate hate as it is used here to: Preferred, instead of hate.
We’ve been on a little side trip, but I believe it was necessary to our understanding of Malachi and “The Love of G-d.”
We had come to the point in Malachi where G-d had demonstrated his Love by his past actions. Lets skip to verse (6) where we find G-d leveling His indictment against the people but specifically the priests. We have priests today; religionist. They are our preachers, ministers our professionals. There is much wrong with the clergy and I am the first to say so. We have lost our sense of direction our vision. We have lost our first love, Yahshua. We have replaced Yahshua with man-made programs and agendas. However, we cannot place all the blame on the clergy. People no longer want to hear the undiluted Word of G-d. They prefer other agendas. They no longer want to be discipled. They want easy Christianity and none-accountability. Pastors have become administrators and entertainers. They have lost the first priority of the Great Commission: To Make Disciples. Biblically speaking, Disciples are more than converts they are spiritually mature, well grounded, knowledgeable True Worshippers. It is a process that takes time and effort. Something our materialist, instant gratification society avoids.
G-d Says: A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the L-rd of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And you say, wherein have we despised thy name?”
Jacob’s offspring were chosen over Esau’s by grace. We are chosen and sanctified and made a member of Yahshua’s called our ones by the same grace and separated from the lost of the nations. Should we also ask: Wherein have we despised G-d’s name? Have we? IN verse 7 G-d indicts them for placing polluted food on His altar. How do you apply that to today? You ask. Do we give G-d our leftovers? What do we do with our talents, abilities and resources? Where is He in the list of priorities in our lives? Is he number two, three or maybe last. After all he’s rich, He can take care of Himself. What does he need our material wealth for. I need it more than Him. He didn’t need Isaac as a sacrifice but he validated Abraham’s trust in Him by Abraham’s actions. We need to act not to prove G-d but to prove ourselves. By placing G-d anywhere, but first, we have replaced Him as our G-d and polluted His Altar! They gave G-d their second best.
Malachi beseeched them to turn away from their wickedness. But did they? No. In their hearts they reasoned they had done no wrong. How often do we commit sin and then we excuse it by our rationalizations, minimization’s or justifications. I think G-d would prefer we stood up made our admission of guilt and took our punishment. I am sure he would deal more graciously with us if we did. The priesthood had become so callused that they demanded pay for every little religious service they performed. They would not even kindle the fire under the altar without wages. G-d was disgusted with them They would not even kindle the fire under the altar without wages. G-d was disgusted with them In verse 13 they wailed:
“Behold what a weariness it is!”
Has your faith become a burden to you? Have you departed from the way. Are you bored with it all. Listen to what G-d responds. Take heed!
(2:8-9) “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the L-rd of Hosts.
Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.”
Before any of you think this does not concern you. That it concerns only the clergy, remember what is written in Rev. 20:6: that we who are saved shall be priests of G-d and shall reign with Yahshua HaMashiach, Meleck ha o’lam. We are all priests o f HaShem and as such, we must consider what our lives say about the Kingdom of Elohim? Are we a source of contempt or do we represent G-d in a way that is biblically approved. Are we partial in the law keeping that with which we agree, but not that which interferes with our lifestyle. Are we corrupting the image of Yahshua? Are we crucifying Him anew? Are we guilty?
Read verse 11:
“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the L-rd which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange G-d.”
Do we serve strange G-ds? Materialism, self-determination, self-will. Are we looking somewhere else for our source of meaning? Do we protect our little spheres of power at the risk of G-d’s Kingdom?
Can we read that passage with a clear conscious? Does a lingering doubt in our hearts disturb us? Or do we audacity ask G-d as they:
(v. 14) “Wherefore”
I’m going to leave you with that question this week. Perhaps you’re like me. I hate it when I start watching a TV program only to find at the end that it’s continued. It can’t be helped! G-d’s word in Malichi speaks volumes and with the time allotted it just can’t be handled in one session. There’s so many life applications that it could serve as the source of many sermons. Malichi points to the coming Messiah and we will also see prophecies delivered specifically to us about the end time. This was G-d’s last word before Yahshua and He foretells what is to befall the nations in “The Day of The L-rd”, the euphemism we all understand to mean the end time, the coming to an end of this age, as we know it. Stay tuned G-d’s Word is never dull.
Rabbi Phil Davis: Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
PH: (352) 527-9353