Malachi

1 A revelation, the LORD’s word to Israel by Malachi. 2 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. Yet you say, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” says the LORD, “Yet I loved Jacob; 3 but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 Whereas Edom says, “We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places”; the LORD of Armies says, “They shall build, but I will throw down; and men will call them ‘The Wicked Land,’ even the people against whom the LORD shows wrath forever.” 5 Your eyes will see, and you will say, “The LORD is great—even beyond the border of Israel!” 6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, then where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? Says the LORD of Armies to you, priests, who despise my name. You say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ In that you say, ‘The LORD’s table is contemptible.’ 8 When you offer the blind for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn’t that evil? Present it now to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he accept your person?” says the LORD of Armies. 9 “Now, please entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With this, will he accept any of you?” says the LORD of Armies. 10 “Oh that there were one amongst you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you,” says the LORD of Armies, “neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations. 12 “But you profane it, in that you say, ‘The LORD’s table is polluted, and its fruit, even its food, is contemptible.’ 13 You say also, ‘Behold, what a weariness it is!’ and you have sniffed at it”, says the LORD of Armies; “and you have brought that which was taken by violence, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring the offering. Should I accept this at your hand?” says the LORD. 14 “But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a defective thing; for I am a great King,” says the LORD of Armies, “and my name is awesome amongst the nations.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

All advantages, either as to outward circumstances, or spiritual privileges, come from the free love of God, who makes one to differ from another. All the evils sinners feel and fear, are the just recompence of their crimes, while all their hopes and comforts are from the unmerited mercy of the Lord. He chose his people that they might be holy. If we love him, it is because he has first loved us; yet we all are prone to undervalue the mercies of God, and to excuse our own offences.

Verses 6–14

We may each charge upon ourselves what is here charged upon the priests. Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honour him. But they were so scornful that they derided reproof. Sinners ruin themselves by trying to baffle their convictions. Those who live in careless neglect of holy ordinances, who attend on them without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. They despised God’s name in what they did. It is evident that these understood not the meaning of the sacrifices, as shadowing forth the unblemished Lamb of God; they grudged the expense, thinking all thrown away which did not turn to their profit. If we worship God ignorantly, and without understanding, we bring the blind for sacrifice; if we do it carelessly, if we are cold, dull, and dead in it, we bring the sick; if we rest in the bodily exercise, and do not make heart-work of it, we bring the lame; and if we suffer vain thoughts and distractions to lodge within us, we bring the torn. And is not this evil? Is it not a great affront to God, and a great wrong and injury to our own souls? In order to the acceptance of our actions with God, it is not enough to do that which, for the matter of it, is good; but we must do it from a right principle, in a right manner, and for a right end. Our constant mercies from God, make worse our slothfulness and niggardliness, in our returns of duty to God. A spiritual worship shall be established. Incense shall be offered to God’s name, which signifies prayer and praise. And it shall be a pure offering. When the hour came, in which the true worshippers worshipped the Father in Spirit and in truth, then this incense was offered, even this pure offering. We may rely on God’s mercy for pardon as to the past, but not for indulgence to sin in future. If there be a willing mind, it will be accepted, though defective; but if any be a deceiver, devoting his best to Satan and to his lusts, he is under a curse. Men now, though in a different way, profane the name of the Lord, pollute his table, and show contempt for his worship.

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