Introduction and God’s Election of Israel
What follows is divine revelation. The word of the Lord came to Israel through Malachi:
“I have shown love to you,” says the Lord, but you say, “How have you shown love to us?”
“Esau was Jacob’s brother,” the Lord explains, “yet I chose Jacob and rejected Esau. I turned Esau’s mountains into a deserted wasteland and gave his territory to the wild jackals.”
Edom says, “Though we are devastated, we will once again build the ruined places.” So the Lord who rules over all responds, “They indeed may build, but I will overthrow. They will be known as the land of evil, the people with whom the Lord is permanently displeased. Your eyes will see it, and then you will say, ‘May the Lord be magnified even beyond the border of Israel!’”
The Sacrilege of Priestly Service
“A son naturally honours his father and a slave respects his master. If I am your father, where is my honour? If I am your master, where is my respect? The Lord who rules over all asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, ‘How have we made light of your name?’ You are offering improper sacrifices on my altar, yet you ask, ‘How have we offended you?’ By treating the table of the Lord as if it is of no importance! For when you offer blind animals as a sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer the lame and sick, is that not wrong as well? Indeed, try offering them to your governor! Will he be pleased with you or show you favour?” asks the Lord who rules over all. But now plead for God’s favour that he might be gracious to us. “With this kind of offering in your hands, how can he be pleased with you?” asks the Lord who rules over all.
“I wish that one of you would close the temple doors, so that you no longer would light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and I will no longer accept an offering from you. For from the east to the west my name will be great among the nations. Incense and pure offerings will be offered in my name everywhere, for my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord who rules over all. “But you are profaning it by saying that the table of the Lord is common and its offerings despicable. You also say, ‘How tiresome it is.’ You turn up your nose at it,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and instead bring what is stolen, lame, or sick. You bring these things for an offering! Should I accept this from you?” asks the Lord. “There will be harsh condemnation for the hypocrite who has a valuable male animal in his flock but vows and sacrifices something inferior to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord who rules over all, “and my name is awesome among the nations.”