Malachi 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@December 27, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • The Lord’s Love for Israel
  • The Priests’ Polluted Offerings


Malachi’s prophecy begins by speaking on behalf of the LORD of His favor for Jacob (Israel) over Esau. The people will see the treatment of the Edomites (descendants of Esau) and ascribe greatness to the LORD. God then shifts focus to the priests, charging them with profane behavior and a lack of fear and reverence of Him. The priests deny the accusation and ask for evidence. God responds by confronting their practice of offering polluted sacrifices. They are told to repent of their defiled offerings and “entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious” (Mal. 1:9). God’s name will be great among all nations for all time and is worthy of “a pure offering” (Mal. 1:11). The priests’ attitude is shown as lax toward their responsibilities through their actions of desecrating Yahweh’s altar. God curses “the cheat” who has an animal that would be a proper sacrifice but is kept back and a blemished animal used in its stead. God reminds them of who He is and His worthiness to be given their first and best.

The priests had grown dull in their fear and reverence and it reflected in their divinely appointed duties. How often this is us as our fickle hearts grow complacent and begin to view God’s gift of salvation as assumed. In sin, we wither in our saliency that God’s only Son had to die to give us life. Our worship becomes half-hearted and time with the Lord in His Word and Prayer routine, increasing in mindlessness and inattention. Church and fellowship become compulsory, flattened to social gathering, conversing in empty platitudes and smiling through our teeth while our hearts languish in the inside.

The Lord here through Malachi offers us wake up call. We should see in these priests our own sinful disregard and entreat His favor that He would be gracious in refreshing our hearts with His forgiveness. It is an opportunity to repent of our own insufficient worship, to be revived in our reverence, steadfast in devotion, that we would give to Him of our whole selves in adoration and praise.

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