It can be easy to think that God has forgotten us, or at least has moved us down on his priority list, when we see evil becoming more prevalent and evil people becoming more successful. In light of this, sometimes we become ambivalent toward God—a sort of spiritual agnosticism—because we don’t think we matter to him. The worst-case scenario is that we reject God, declaring that he has forgotten us altogether and that he may not even exist. Either way, we fail to understand and experience the power, passion, and faithfulness of a big God toward us, his children!
- Under what circumstances do you find yourself questioning God’s affections for you?
READ THE WORD: MALACHI 1:1-5 (ESV)
1:1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’” 5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
- What three clear observations can you make from verse 1? What significance can you derive from those observations?
- Why did Israel struggle so much with questioning God’s love for them (vss. 2-4)?
- How do you see the power and sovereignty of God in verse 4b?
- In verse 5, what brings Israel to the point of praising God? What is important about the phrase “…beyond the border of Israel”?
- Are you questioning God’s love for you today? Meditate on all the ways God has shown you “I have loved you” as a vivid reminder of his faithfulness to you.
RESPOND TO GOD
“His love never fails, he never gives up!” The lyrics to this worship song are among my favorites because I need their constant reminding. In today’s passage, God’s children questioned his love for them. But he firmly reminded them that he loved them dearly, would deal with their enemies, and would not give up! We are not very different from Israel when we see our “enemies” around us flourishing. God told Israel, “Just wait, you will see my justice and power exhibited with your own eyes!” And one day, we too will see clearly and will worship him passionately.
- Take time to remind yourself that God will not give up on you, and then worship him for his persistence!