Lesson 1

An oracle: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.

“I have loved you,” says the LORD.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”

Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”
But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD -even beyond the borders of Israel!’
(Malachi 1:1-5 NIV)

I have to admit that these words always bothered me. To say that God hated Esau when he did nothing compared to others troubled me. I was concerned about this “hate” word. But once I began a more in depth study I found that it is more of a translation issue here that is causing me such hardship. Any time you translate anything from one language to the other you lose something. To truly get the original meaning and intent you need to learn the original language. Thank goodness for the scholars who have done just that.

It seems that the original meaning was not how we view the word “hate”. It is more synonymous with “reject”. There were two men born to Isaac. Only one could be the one chosen for the Chosen one to come through and who would be one of the leaders of Israel. I have to admit that choosing Jacob with all his faults stumped me. But as time goes on you see the true heart of him and the heart of Esau. That is why God is God and I’m glad I’m not. He can see the past, present, and future at one time and understand someone in ways that we never could. He knew the future of Jacob and his descendants. He knew what would happen if Esau was to be the chosen one. He knew all this and choose the correct one.

These verses are talking about Jacob and Esau’s descendants. Esau’s became known as the land of Edom. Jacobs’s known as Israel. Edom had an arrogance about them that went far beyond the confidence everyone needs to stand against what life throws at you. They still harbored the hatred and revenge against Jacob’s descendants. There determined to rebuild, come back stronger, and get their revenge. First, it was centuries before all this happened so who is the revenge really for? Second, do you really want to go up against God?

These words are trying to get us to realize that going against God is futile. He has a plan that we can only see a small thread of the tapestry. We might not understand the reasoning, but there is one. Israel was to be blessed and the Chosen ones. He would protect them always.