THE BURDEN OF THE LORD

“The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi” (Malachi 1:1)

Leslie John

“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” (Malachi 1:11)

These words are the burden of the LORD, the concern of the LORD, conveyed through the last prophet of the Old Testament Malachi.  These words enlighten us about the plan of God in saving Gentiles, and accepting their worship, because His people, Jews repeatedly rebelled and dishonored against Him.

 “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi” (Malachi 1:1)

Feigning ignorance is an intricate trait in many men. Whether it was feigning ignorance or rebellious attitude on the part of children of Israel, the answers given by them to God, the Almighty were very unpleasing.  

In spite of the LORD having great concern for the children of Israel, whom He called as “My People” and protecting them ever since He delivered them, with His mighty outstretched arm, from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, they rebelled against the Almighty God, and Moses the servant of the LORD.

In circumstances that had gone beyond tolerable limits, the LORD chastised them severely, and yet they cried before Pontius Pilate to crucify the Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ.Whether it be in the period of Moses, or Joshua, or Solomon they violated the Law of Moses and incurred the wrath of God.

He spoke through Hosea the Prophet in the similitude of the prophet marrying a woman from the prostitutes, thus showing to the children of Israel that they behaved like an adulterous wife with the LORD in their worshipping other gods. In the place where the LORD said, “You are not my people”, He remembered His covenant with Abraham and said “You are my People”.

 God spoke to Israel through the Prophet Malachi, who lived about 100 years after the initial return of Jews to Jerusalem. The defilement of the altar in Malachi’s time period was similar to that of Nehemiah’s period. 

The LORD’s concern was shown to the children of Israel in the form of oracles, and He was appealing through the prophet Malachi that they may return to Him, and yet they had several questions to Him. They questioned His love and protection, etc.

 When God said to them He loved them, they answered and said to Him.

 “…Wherein hast thou loved us?” (Malachi 1:2)

When God said to them they despised His name, they answered and said to Him. 

 “…Wherein have we despised thy name” (Malachi 1:6) 

When God said to them they polluted His altar they answered and said to Him. 

 “…Wherein have we polluted thee?” (Malachi 1:7) 

When God said to them they wearied Him, they answered and said to Him.  

“…Wherein have we wearied him?” (Malachi 2:17) 

When God said to them they should return to Him, they answered and said to Him. 

“…Wherein shall we return?” (Malachi 3:7) 

When God said to them they robbed Him of His tithes and offerings they answered and said to Him.  

“…Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8) 

When God said to them that spoke so much against Him, they said to Him.  

“…What have we spoken so much against thee?” (Malachi 3:13) 

Are we questioning God? Job, the most upright man, ever lived on this earth questioned God and when God challenged him to answer His questions, he had to keep His mouth shut and surrender to Him. Let us be careful and honor the LORD and allow Him to take decisions in our lives. 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9)