God loved them: He saved them, He taught them His ways, He led them, He fought for them, He blessed them. When they went astray He warned them, He corrected them, He restored them and He blessed them more but they just kept on going astray. Time, after time, after time — it was like they just couldn't keep themselves from sinning. Now, after 2000 years of that repeated cycle of failure, restoration and failure, Israel's love for God has grown cold yet again. Blaming God for everything that's wrong with their world, they have no respect for Him, their worship is nothing but meaningless ritual — even the priests can't be bothered.
That's how it was in the days when God burdened Malachi with a message for His people. It would be His last word to them for over 400 years. It's a message we would do well to learn from.
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