“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you ask: “How have You loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the Lord’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a wasteland, and gave his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Malachi 1:2-3 HCSB
We all would prefer good news over bad news, but life continuously brings a combination of both. We often request the good news first over the bad news if given a choice. In this passage, God begins with the good news of His never-ending love. He assured the people of Israel that He loved them regardless of their sin and disobedience. The people needed this reassurance; some may have even doubted God’s love because they felt their sin and disobedience made them unloveable.
God then contrasted His love for Israel with His rejection of Edom, the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother. The words “love” and “hate” suggest that God chose Jacob instead of his brother Esau to be the one through whom the nation of Israel and the Messiah would come. (see Romans 9:10-13). He took special care of His chosen nation of Israel through which He would bless the whole world.
Challenge: God loves you more than you can imagine, even when you sin and disobey Him. God loves all people, but His gift of eternal life is only given to those who are faithful to Him. People are only rejected when they reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.