God’s Love and His People
Malachi 1:1–5 (ESV)
1The 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 Jacob
3but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.”
4If 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.’ ”
5Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
1. God’s obvious love for you in the past.
a. In what way has God shown his love for you in the past?
b. How do the terms “love” and “hate” reflect God’s love for you? What other words can we use to explain “love” and “hate” in this covenantal context?
c. How do the stories of Jacob and Esau help explain God’s love?
2. God’s obvious love for you in the present.
a. What was the situation in Israel that demonstrated God’s present love for them as opposed to his rejection of Edom?
b. What are the Gospel promises you must believe in order to enjoy God’s present love for you as much as is earthly possible?
3. God’s love for you will be obvious in the future.
a. What differences between Israel’s future and Edom’s future make God’s future love for his people obvious?
b. How do Isaiah 64:4 and 1 Cor.2:9 help clarify God’s love?
c. What are the things that tend to distract you from God’s love?
d. Does the fact that God loves you make you the most important thing to him?
e. How can God possibly love us at all considering we’ve got the same basic problems as Jacob had?