Doubting God’s Love

Doubting God’s Love

We can often look at our unfortunate circumstances and question God’s love for us. The sheer fact that God chose to love us in the first place should alleviate any lingering doubts.

Context

  • A major theme of Scripture: We cannot remain in the presence of God when we disobey the commandments of God.
  • During the time of Malachi, Israel had returned from exile yet was still distant from God.
  • The book is comprised of God’s declarations, Israel’s objections, and God’s explanations.
  • God’s Word warns the religious community of the dangerous slide into spiritual apathy.

Conflict

Malachi 1:1-5

1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4 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.’” 5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
  • Delivering God’s unfiltered Word to another often feels like a necessary burden (1:1).
  • When life fails to meet our expectations, we are often prone to doubt God’s love for us (1:2).
  • If God’s unwarranted pursuit of our rebellious souls isn’t enough proof of His love for us, nothing will ever suffice (1:1-2).
  • The Bible often utilizes love and hatred to show the contrast in priorities rather than passions (1:2-3).
  • From a worldly perspective, Esau deserved preferential treatment, but from God’s prerogative, He granted Jacob grace (1:3-4).
  • God’s ability to keep those who are His and punish those who are not both shows His greatness (1:5).

Consensus

  • Regarding election, every disagreeing group has their own set of Bible verses to defend their theological positions.
  • What is essential for a Christian to believe regarding this matter?
    1. If anyone has a relationship with God, it is because God was the initiator.
    2. We should not be shocked that God allows rebellious people to go to hell but that He permits rebellious people to go to heaven.
    3. God’s sovereignty never negates our responsibility.
    4. God’s love for you is not contingent upon your performance for Him.
    5. The most surprising part of election is that God would choose any of us in the first place.