"I have loved you,” says the LORD. "Yet you say, ‘’In what way have You loved us?’ -- Malachi 1:2
The Book of Malachi acts as a bridge between the Old Testament and New Testament. It points to the degenerated spiritual condition of God’s people and their unfaithfulness which makes the nation worthy of punishment. Though the condition is not favorable, the prophet also highlights the hope and forgiveness in a loving God. God’s love is perfect and complete. The love of God is marked by His action of provision, protection and guiding. He is faithful and true to His promises to the chosen ones. But it’s we who break the covenant and drift away from the pool of God’s love, through our disobedience.
The breach is not irreparable, and all hope is not lost. God the Father still waits and Jesus intercedes for each of us: “… And if any one sins, we have an Advocate with the Father - Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1). The Parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:11- 32 points to the great love of the Father who was earnestly waiting with great patience. He received his prodigal son who repented and came back, -with a joyful and loving heart.
The fullness of God’s love is portrayed on the cross of Calvary. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that HE gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The entire gospel is summed up in this verse. God’s love is not stagnant, but it reaches out and pulls people in. That’s what he did for us on the cross! The love relationship is established with the great sacrifice – the highest price that could be paid.
We read in Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” God reaches out to the people with kindness motivated by deep and everlasting love. He is eager to do the best for us if only we let Him execute it. Let us approach His throne of grace in love and not in fear.
The general mindset of people is reflected in the question in V.2 "How have you loved us?”— questioning the heart of God. They look to physical progress and blessing as a measure of God’s love, neglecting the eternal reward. The Israelites had experienced the miracles that God had done for them. They witnessed the dividing of the Red Sea and the subsequent destruction of the Egyptian army. But in three days’ time they forgot it and started grumbling at Marah (Exodus 15:24). Asaph says, "They forgot what He had done, the wonders He had shown them.” (Psalm 78:11). But Matthew 6:33 reminds us, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added on to you.”
God’s love is different from human love. It’s unconditional and not arising out of feelings and emotions. God loves us not because we are worthy to receive but because He is love! (1 John 4:8). He expects a loving relationship with each of us. HE meant it so much that His Son was sacrificed to restore that relationship. And Jesus the Son willingly went to the cross for us! He paid the price for your sin and mine so that we can be restored to God the Father.
Will you accept this great love extended towards you?
Think on: “The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” (Isaiah 1:3)
Listen: ‘How deep the Father’s love’