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April 01, 2010
Text: Malachi 1:2-4 (King James Version)
"’I 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. (v. 3) And I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.’ (v. 4) Whereas 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.’"
Topic: An Overlooked Love!
The statement that Almighty God loved Jacob; but, hated Esau, must be taken as relative rather than absolute! Special blessings were promised to Esau and his descendants! However, the spiritual insight of Jacob was far greater; and, Jacob was the one through whom the promised seed - the Messiah - Jesus, the Christ - was to come! The comparison of the good things done for Jacob with those done for Esau is like the difference between loving and hating!
Almighty God was reminding the people of Jerusalem of something as obvious as their own national existence - after seventy (70) years of exile in Babylon, they were back in their "mother city" - and, even though they were not satisfied with the condition of their life, Almighty God had not forgotten them! Almighty God had given the Jewish people favor with the Persian conquerors of Babylon - He had brought them back to the homeland that they loved!
The same thing, however, could not be said for their cousins, the Edomites, for while the descendants of Jacob had been given a land with cities that they had not built - with homes that they had not filled - with wells that they had not dug - and, with vineyards and olive groves that they had not planted; the descendants of Esau - Jacob’s twin brother - had the opposite existence! Almighty God placed the Edomites under a national curse! He called attention to their pride and said that even if they built their homes in mountain fortresses, He would make them a wasteland! Esau’s descendants would try to get up; but, Almighty God would knock them back down!
To this very day, the obvious physical contrast between the "mountain of Jacob" and the "mountain of Esau" is clearly apparent! Desite the fact that the descendants of Esau built strongholds high in the cliffs of Sela - in Petra - which is fifty (50) miles south of the Dead Sea - Almighty God made their cliff dwellings desolate - a striking evidence of Almighty God’s Judgment!
The Lord’s choice of Jacob - over his twin brother Esau - was not an expression of favoritism! Almighty God did not indulge Israel like a spoiled child - nor did He give His "chosen people" immunity from the consequences of their sins! With Israel’s increased privilege came increased responsibility - to whom much is given, much is required! No other nation would end up being known as the "people of the Holocaust!"
Almighty God chose Israel not only to show the world the enviable conditions of those who trust in Him; but, also to show the desolation that comes to those who refuse His offer of love! Almighty God’s "chosen people" ended up questioning Him - "How have you loved us?" Their question is a reminder
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