A Message. God's Word to Israel through Malachi:
God said, "I love you." You replied, "Really? How have you loved us?"
and hated Esau. I reduced pretentious Esau to a molehill, turned his whole country into a ghost town."
When Edom (Esau) said, "We've been knocked down, but we'll get up and start over, good as new," God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, "Just try it and see how far you get. When I knock you down, you stay down. People will take one look at you and say, 'Land of Evil!' and 'the God-cursed tribe!'
"Yes, take a good look. Then you'll see how faithfully I've loved you and you'll want even more, saying, 'May God be even greater, beyond the borders of Israel!'
"Isn't it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I'm your Father, where's the honor? If I'm your Master, where's the respect?" God-of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: "You priests despise me! "You say, 'Not so! How do we despise you?' "By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship. "You ask, 'What do you mean, "defiling"? What's defiling about it?'
"When you say, 'The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,' that's defiling.
And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you're trying to get rid of - blind and sick and crippled animals - isn't that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator - how far do you think it will get you?" God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.