Digging in Deeper: Malachi 1:2-3a

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This morning we ran into this incredibly hard statement on God’s part that He hated someone. Namely, He hated Esau, Jacob’s brother. But, the observation wasn’t specific to just Esau. It included the entire nation of his descendants as well. Fortunately, the way God was using the words “love” and “hate” in Malachi, wasn’t the same as the way we often use them today. He simply meant that He chose one over the other. There were no emotions involved. The thing is, even understanding that, this passage is still really hard to accept. Let’s talk about why.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 1:2-3a

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When God asserted His love for the people of Israel at the beginning of Malachi’s little collection of prophecy, the people whose hearts were hard from years of doing religion without any kind of relationship meaningfully in place, immediately fired back a challenge: “How?” God’s response is, for modern ears, one of the hardest things we find Him saying in the Old Testament. What are we supposed to do with this?

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:35

“And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever regretted anything? Of course you have. You may even have a lengthy list of things you’ve said or done which afterwards you wished you had not. That’s part of sin being loose in the world. If you had known you were going to regret them, you might not have said or done them (okay, you probably still would have done some of them anyway because, sin, but many of them you would have avoided). But, you don’t know everything. God does, though, so what are we supposed to do with Him expressing regret? Read the rest…