Malachi Chapter 1 focuses on a prophecy of the Lord that was meant for the people of Israel. He chose the prophet Malachi to deliver it to them.
Israel Doubts God’s Love
God starts out by saying that He loves the children of Israel, but realizes that they doubt His love for them. The Lord used the analogy that He loved Jacob, but He did not like Esau. That is why He destroyed the land of Edom.
He said they were evil people and He hated that nation. Even if they decided to rebuild their city, God said, He would crush it once again. But yet the people of Israel said that God was great.
The People Disrespect God
The Lord reminded the people that He was their master and He deserved respect. God told the people that they defiled Him by providing sick and crippled animals as their sacrifices on His altar. God rejected such offerings.
The Lord pointed out that people in other nations brought great sacrifices to Him which He gladly accepted. But the people of Israel brought their diseased animals for their sacrifices. God said this was a sign of disrespect and their improper sacrifices had defiled His altar.
God Scolds Improper Offerings
In Malachi Chapter 1, God called those who purposefully offered the lesser animals in their possession cheats. He said some people even tried to trick Him by switching the good animals for the bad ones just before the sacrifice.
God stressed that He is the all-powerful leader of the many nations. He demanded respect and obedience regarding the offerings that the people offered up to Him. He concluded Malachi Chapter 1 by saying bad things would happen to people who continued to give defective sacrifices to Him as their offering.
Malachi 1 (King James Version)
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.