A Short Study of Malachi 1:2-3

“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, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
(Malachi 1:2-3)


These words of God through the prophet Malachi are a reminder to us of the sovereignty of God’s grace. He can do with His own what He will. He will have mercy and be gracious upon whom He will and harden whom He will. He’s God. These words concerning the family relationship of Jacob and Esau in the light of this sovereign grace reveal much. I know of nothing that will betray us for what we really are and what we really believe like what we believe concerning the spiritual condition of those of family and friends. God says, “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Jacob whom God loved and saved with an everlasting salvation? Yet God’s grace to Jacob did not guarantee it to Esau as well. No, Esau perished, suffering the eternal consequences of his sin, justly condemned by God. It was the same with Isaac and Ishmael as well as Abel and Cain. Family connections are no guarantee of grace. Also, what we really believe and what our hope really is in, is often revealed by what we think and say about our loved ones. Do we imagine that because they are moral, even religious or because they “go to a church” that they are saved? That they know God? That they will enter God’s heaven? Is the standard for them in our minds and hearts the same standard God sets forth in His word? Do we look over the fact that they hate the true gospel, go about to establish their own righteousness and have no knowledge of or love for the true Christ? The things we allow for those nearest our hearts often shows what we ourselves are trusting in! David, Eli and many more loved their children and families but knew that they were lost without God. Jacob is a wonderful example of God’s free grace and love to sinners so that we need not despair. If God could love and save Jacob in Christ, there is hope for the vilest sinner. But wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother? He died in his sins and found no place for repentance. Thus, we have a word of encouragement for ourselves and our loved ones in Jacob but a word of warning in Esau! What must we do? We must always take sides with God against ourselves and them! We must tell them the truth of the Gospel. We must pray for them as long as they have breath. We must live before them adorning the doctrine of grace. But if need be, we must forsake all and follow Christ. Esau was Jacob’s brother but Jehovah was the God of his salvation!


G. Shepard

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