Dave Burnette's Commentary

Malachi Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Malachi
Date Penned: (430 BC)
Overview: Confront Sinners to Restoration with God (c 1-4)
Theme: The Sinful Priests (c 1-2)
Message: God's Love for His People (v 1-14)

Malachi 1 Commentary
(1:1) Malachi, the last Old Testament prophet, preached after Haggai, Zechariah, and Nehemiah - about 430 BC. The temple had been rebuilt for almost a century, and the people were losing their enthusiasm for worship. Apathy and disillusionment had set in because the exciting messianic prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah had not been fulfilled. Many of the sins that brought the downfall of Jerusalem in 586 BC were still being practiced in Judah, Malachi confronted the hypocrites with their sin by portraying a graphic dialogue between a righteous God and his hardened people.

(1:2) God's first message through Malachi was "I have loved you." Although this message applied specifically to Israel, it is a message of hope for all people at all times, Unfortunately, many people are cynical about God's love, using political and economic progress as a measure of success. Because the government was corrupt and the economy poor, the Israelites assumed that God didn't love them. They were wrong. God loves all people because he made them, this is why Jesus will come in the New Testament to pay the price for all mans sin.

(1:3-5) The phrase, "I hated Esau" does not refer to Esau's eternal destiny. It simply means that God chose Jacob, not his brother Esau, to be the one through whom the nation of Israel and the Messiah would come. God allowed Esau to father a nation, but this nation, Edom, later became one of Israel's chief enemies. The story is found in Genesis 25 because God chose Jacob and his descendants as the nation through whom the world would come to be blessed. God cared for them in a special way. Ironically, they rejected God after he chose them.

(1:6) God charged the priests with failing to honor him (to the point of despising his name) and failing to be good spiritual examples to the people. The temple had been rebuilt in 516 BC and worship was being conducted there, but the priests did not worship God properly - they did not follow his laws for the sacrifices. Ezra, the priest, had sparked a great revival around 458 BC However, by Malachi's time, the nation's leaders had once again fallen away from God, and the people with them, The worship of God was no longer from heartfelt adoration, instead it was simply a job for the priests.

(1:7) God's Law required that only perfect animals ("without blemish") be offered to God (Leviticus 1) but the priests were people to offer blind, lame, and sick animals to God. The Lord accused them of dishonoring Him by offering imperfect sacrifices and He was displeased. The New Testament says that our lives are living sacrifices to God (Romans 12) If we give God only our leftover time, money, and energy, we repeat the same sin as these worshipers who didn't want to bring anything valuable to God. What we give God reflects our attitude toward Him.

(1:8) From a practical standpoint, it made sense for the Jews to keep the best animals for themselves and to sacrifice the unwanted ones. But these sacrifices were to God, and God requires and deserves the very best. By giving our best to him, we honor him and demonstrate our trust in his provision. To give second best to God implies that he is second rate in our lives. What are you giving to the Lord? 

(1:9) The people sacrificed to God wrongly by their actions which exposed their hearts. The truth is that our actions expose our hearts and who we truly are in relation to a God who loves us and gave us his best. 

(1:10) As intermediaries between God and the people priests were responsible for reflecting God's attitudes and character. By accepting imperfect sacrifices, they led the people to believe that the Lord accepted those sacrifices as well. But God says, "I have no pleasure in you. "As Christians, we are often in the same position as these priests because we reflect God to our friends and family. What image of God's character and attitudes do others see in you? If you casually accept sin then you are like the priests in Malachi's days and God will have "no pleasure in you"

(1:11)  A theme that can be heard throughout the Old Testament is affirmed in this book - "my name shall be great among the Gentiles...my name shall be great among the heathen." God had a chosen people, the Jews, through whom he planned to save and bless the world through all who believe in Him - Jews and Gentiles. Christians are now his chosen people, and our pure offering to the Lord is our New Life in Christ. Are you available to God to be used in making His name great to the nations? This mission belongs in your home and in your neighborhood, but doesn't stop there. We must work and pray for the Great Commission to reaching the world with the good news of Jesus Christ

(1:13) Too many think that following the Lord Is supposed to make life easier and more comfortable. They are looking for a God of ease, comfort, and pleasure. The truth is that the Christian life is one one of blessing and opposition that is full of hard work but its rewards are eternal as we are in Christ - both on Heaven and Earth when we place our trust in his finished work on the Cross of Calvary.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Give God Your Best

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Malachi with Chapter 1. In our text today we see the sinful Priests as they give an imperfect sacrifice in the midst of God showing His love for the people. Instead of giving their best or first fruits they we sacrificing the left overs. In making application we see that we too tend to follow in this path of giving God our leftovers. When we don't give Him our first and best we are failing to Worship. How about you? Do you give God your first and best? Let us learn from our text today and the Priests who failed to follow God's  instruction of sacrifice giving Him the leftovers instead of our best for which He is Worthy for true Worship.  


Malachi 1

Malachi 1

 1The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

 2I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,

 3And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

 4Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.

 5And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

 6A son honoureth 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 LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

 7Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

 8And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

 9And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.

 10Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

 11For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

 12But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.

 13Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.

 14But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.