The Book of Malachi Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 3 Leave a Comment / Love Israel Connection Blog / By Rivka Korman We go on to Malachi 1:9-14 Many people are spiritually frustrated. They do not have contentment or an inner peace. They are not experiencing joy in their lives, and they are simply defeated. On our own, this is not something that we can remedy. We need to agree with G-d and see ourselves as He sees us, so that we can turn to Him for assistance. The children of Israel were disobedient but, in this section, we see G-d inviting them to change. In the same way, G-d is inviting change in the lives of people today. v9: Now: This word in Hebrew carries with it a sense of urgency. Spiritually frustrated people are in a very dire situation. They need to urgently make the right decision. If those decisions aren’t made ‘now’ then they are unlikely to be made in a week, month or years’ time. Right ‘now’, today, is a special opportunity from G-d to make G-d honouring changes in our lives. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. · Entreat: A word of invitation. When we entreat someone, we are inviting them, beseeching them, supplicating them to respond to us. G-d wants us to respond to Him. · G-d’s favour: (literally ‘The face of G-d’): This is an idiom that speaks of the presence of G-d. · He may be gracious: It is through G-d’s grace that we find salvation (our sins are forgiven). it is also through G-d’s grace that our lives can be transformed (Titus 2:11-12). We need to rejoice that we have a gracious G-d!· By your hands: From your being. From our own initiative and will, our own authority, we need to invite G-d into our lives. · Accept you favourably (lift up our faces): When we invite Him into our lives, He gives us a sense of true joy. ‘Lifting up our face’ means He is going to encourage us; He is going to move in our lives and we will begin to see things differently. · The L-rd of hosts: An idiom that speaks about the G-d who is absolutely able. He is mighty, strong, and powerful and we can rely upon Him. v10: Who…would shut the doors: After G-d’s wonderful invitation to the people He goes back to examining them. He is so dissatisfied and displeased with their worship and their hypocritical behaviour that He wishes someone would just close the doors to the temple. · Kindle: Light. · In Vain: For nothing. What was going on in the temple was not serving G-d. G-d wished that they would rather not offer their diseased, lame and blind offerings to Him as they served no purpose…they were for naught. Our lives, like these offerings, could be lived without purpose. It is only G-d that gives true purpose and meaning to our existence. If we reject Him, or if we do not serve Him, then we are living empty, meaningless lives. · I have no pleasure in you: (literally: There is not to Me any desirable (delightful) thing among you). When we are going in our own ways then we cannot please G-d. · Offering: Sacrifice. · Nor will I accept… from your hands: In their current condition, G-d didn’t want their worship or service. There was a separation between Israel and the G-d of Israel. G-d was available to make a change (Malachi 1:9) but Israel had to be willing to respond to this prophetic revelation by sincerely repenting and submitting to G-d’s authority. v11: My Name shall be great among the Gentiles: G-d’s call on Israel was that they would be a blessing to the nations, the Gentiles (Gen 12:3). His desire was to use Israel to reveal to the nations how great His Name is. He wanted the nations to know Him, to know His character, as He is the only One that gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It is only through the work that G-d did through His Son, Yeshua Messiah, that we can be forgiven of our sins. It is only in this state of purity, when the righteousness of Messiah has been imputed to us, that we are able to dwell in the presence of the Holy G-d. · In every place incense is offered to My Name … My Name shall be great among the nations: Many scholars believe that this speaks of G-d’s desire. G-d wants incense to be offered up to Him because of the greatness of His name. · Incense: Incense is related to the prayers of the people (Rev 8:4). Note: Twice in this verse G-d emphasises that He wants His Name to be great in the nations. G-d doesn’t just want to be known in Israel. He wants to be known in all the nations in the world. G-d’s desire has always been redemption for all humanity (John 3:16). All can receive His grace, mercy and kindness. v12: You: G-d is speaking to Israel. · You profane it: The issue here is that G-d wants His Name to be great among the nations, but this isn’t happening. The people are treating His Name irreverently or with disrespect. · You say the table (altar) of the L-rd is defiled: The people were unable to understand the greatness of G-d. From a human perspective, the perspective of spiritual blindness, they looked at the things of G-d and saw them as insignificant. They saw the sacrifices as not working in their lives to bring about any real results or outcomes. · Its food is contemptible: The people had no respect for the sacrifices. Just like Esau (Gen 25:34, Heb 12:16-17), they had contempt for the things that G-d had set in place. They had contempt for the things that G-d had provided for them. v13: What a weariness: Worn out. They are tired of all the spiritual things that G-d has commanded them to do. · Sneer: Literally: puff at. Someone says this is a wonderful thing and they disagreed with them and didn’t accept it as wonderful. They didn’t see any value in it. · Lame: Crippled. Paralyzed· Should I accept this….(i.e will I be pleased)…?: The answer is ‘no’. G-d will not be pleased with this. If our worship is not pleasing to G-d, and therefore is not received by Him, there will be no activity in our lives from Him. There’s an important connection between worship and G-d’s activity in our lives. If we do not worship Him properly (John 4:23- 24), if we do not esteem the things of G-d, if what we are doing for G-d is tiresome or bothersome to us and if we don’t place any significance on it then G-d is not going to receive it from us. v14: Note: This verse is not a verse of encouragement. G-d’s Word is not always encouraging. It’s not always something that’s uplifting. It’s not always something that we want to hear. G-d is speaking here to people who do not value worship. They are people who are not committed to worshipping G-d on a daily basis. They are people who are not committed to meeting corporately to worship G-d (Heb 10:25) – coming together regularly to testify. · Deceiver: A con artist. Someone who wants to take advantage of others.· Male: G-d usually wanted a male offering. This is referring to a male sheep or goat. · Makes a vow: He promises to offer up this healthy, well pleasing male goat or sheep. · But sacrifices to the L-rd what is blemished – for I am a Great King: This man deceives others into thinking he is offering up his best but in fact he is not. He does not realise that G-d is an all-knowing G-d and a Great King who deserves our best. This man had within his means (he had an acceptable male in his flock) the ability to worship G-d in the proper way – but he chose not to. · Blemished: Corruptible. Unacceptable to the L-rd.· My Name is to be feared (is awesome) among the nations: G-d is reminding Israel of their call. Israel was called to be a light to the nations so that G-d’s Name could be glorified among the Gentiles. Because Israel was disobedient, because they were choosing unwisely and were disagreeing with G-d’s call, there was no ministry and change happening to those in the nations.