God’s love for His people throughout the Old Testament has been displayed often as he has favored them over the pagan nations all around them. Malachi points out the difference between His chosen people and their sworn enemies. He points out the Edomites specifically. They were the descendants of Esau and represented those that would rather have red stew than God’s blessing. I’m convinced that God will not bless those with hard hearts. Instead, they will face the consequences of rejecting the “true” truth of the one and only God, who is not only God of the Israelites but God of the whole world. Malachi 1:4-5 says, “If Edom says, ‘We are shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins,’ the Lord of hosts says, ‘They may build, but I will tear down,’ and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’ Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, ‘Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!’”

 God deals kindly with His people but harshly with his enemies. This is even seen as early as the days of Abraham when He promises to bless all those nations that bless Abraham’s descendants and to curse those who curse Israel. One must not miss the sharp contrast between Jacob, whom God chose, and Esau, his twin brother, who did not value his rightful inheritance. They were presented as two men with very different personalities. Esau was the hunter and man of the field who didn’t have time for things like blessings and inheritances. According to the book of Jubilees, Jacob was a man of letters who could read and write. Esau did not have time for such things. Abraham, their grandfather, loved Jacob more than Esau as well and gave Rebekah instructions on how to trick Isaak into giving Jacob the blessing rather than Esau. But, as long as Esau remained aloof from Jacob and did not harm him, God blessed him in the land. Jubilees records Abraham’s blessings on Ishmael, Esau, and his other children by his wife, Keturah. But when the descendants of Esau turned against Jacob’s descendants, we see God turn against Esau. The descendants of Esau are the Edomites; the Prophet, Obadiah, addresses the Edomites specifically and says that they will ultimately be eliminated. Historically Herod the Great was the last recorded “Idumean” or Edomite. The nation is not more.

God is referred to twenty times in Malachi as “The Lord of hosts,” a majestic name of military leadership, but more than that. It’s often translated as “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” It means that the Lord is the one who commands all the forces of the universe. Joy awaits His orders. Peace is ready in His hands. Success is stored in His warehouse and given at His discretion. Although the nations that cursed Israel are also cursed by God, individuals of every nation can enter into the joyful blessings of serving the one true God. Isaiah 56:6-7 says, “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, …these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Paul leans on this truth as well when he preaches to the Gentiles in Rome. He argues in Romans chapter three that God is not the God of the Jews only but also the God of the Gentiles as well. God will justify and bless each person according to their faith. Instead of being cursed by God, they are now forgiven and blessed by God. In Romans 4:7-8, Paul speaks not of God’s curse upon sinners but blessings upon them through faith in Jesus. He writes, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” He says it in another way also “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”