God’s message through Malachi to a disillusioned nation begins with this comforting declaration: “I have loved you, saith the LORD.” Nevertheless, the people childishly argue back to God saying, “How have you loved us?” (Mal 1.2)
This interaction causes one to wonder whether God’s love may be the attribute of God most generally believed but most personally denied among His people. It is easier to believe that God is love in some sort of general, impersonal way, than to believe, God loves me in a specific, personal way. Do you really know and feel personally loved by God?
We often feel God is angry with us, displeased with us, or getting even with us. We know we have let Him down time and again, and we often feel, and are, so unworthy of His love. Many come to wonder if God really does love them individually. Let this brief and powerful word of God sink deeply into your soul: “I have loved you.”
Personally, we need to embrace God’s clear declaration of love. Personally knowing His love is foundational to your entire relationship with God.
His love is continuous, unalterable and unconditional. “I have loved you… I change not!” (Mal 3:6) God reveals throughout Scripture His immense love in such verses like Deuteronomy 7:7, 8. These verses tell us why God loves: just “because:”
“The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people … but because the LORD loved you.”
“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us … While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”
God in love gave His Son to die for the sins of the world and then He gave His Spirit to live in those who believe in Him.
We must beware of doubting his love, for this leads into a pathway of darkness.
In Malachi, the people meet God’s word of assurance with cynical doubt and blatant ingratitude: “Wherein hast thou loved us?” (Malachi 1:2b) They were “talking back” to God.
Undoubtedly, when one sins and tastes its painful consequences, it can cause a person to doubt God’s love. The drunkard moans, “I do not have a coat on my back, how have you loved me?” The gambler, who lost his house and worse, his family, complains, “How have you loved me?”
Sinful attitudes like jealousy or envy, emotions like depression, or our forgetfulness and lack of faith can lead us to doubt His love. Because they denied His love, throughout the remainder of his book, the Prophet Malachi reveals the dark pathway they went down.
- In their worship: they DESPISED God’s Name, 1:6-2:9.
- In their homes: they both married non-believers & DIVORCED their believing wives, 2:10-16. In culture: they ACCUSED God of injustice, 2:17-3:5
- In their hearts: they DEFENDED their righteousness but robbed God, 3:7-ff.
- Among friends: they COMPLAINED that it was worthless to serve God, 3:13-18.
The first step down this dark path was their denial of God’s love.
Finally, Malachi challenges God’s people to learn to see His love demonstrated. God confirmed His love to Israel in real history. All they had to do was to look at what was happening as a proof and reminder of God’s love. God allowed Israel to return and rebuild their nation and their temple, while, on the other hand, He would not allow Edom to do that. God thwarted Edom at every step. This showed God’s love to Israel because Edom was a constant threat to Israel’s safety.
May I encourage you? Personally discover God’s loving hand demonstrated in your life, and others will see His greatness and glory through your testimony. God has loved you!
All of us have gone through things, and we may have thought, “God, if you love me, WHY…?” Nevertheless, God has demonstrated His love to us again and again. Learn to see the LORD’s loving hand, here, and there, there and here.
Did He call you to serve Him? Has He led you in a special pathway? Has He not spoken to you through His Word? Yes, He has! He has provided for you in a great time of need. He has blessed you beyond your expectations. Best of all, Jesus left heaven for earth to die for your sins and rise again. He loves you personally!
Sometimes we get preoccupied with our own circumstances and problems and we miss clear evidences of God’s divine love for us. We compare God’s dealings with other people, and we question His love. It is easy to overlook the many blessings God has given to us and take them for granted.
Say this, believe this, feel this:
- THE LORD loves me.
- The Lord LOVES me.
- The Lord loves ME.
As you meditate on God’s love, you will have the grace to love Him, obey Him, and to love others. Respond to God’s love today: embrace His declaration of love, do not doubt His love, and learn to look and see His love demonstrated to you!