Worship Leader Rev.Shinichi Hirohashi 司会者 廣橋信一牧師
Accompanist Mrs. Kazusa Oba 奏楽者 大場かづさ姉妹
Preacher Elder.Bob Drews 説教者 ボブ・ドゥルース宣教師
Interpreter Rev.Shinichi Hirohashi 通訳者 廣橋信一牧師
Song Leader Elder Ｍuneyasu Nasu 賛美リーダー 那須宗泰長老
Worship song : Blessed assurance 主に罪をゆるされ
Worship song : In Christ Alone
Worship song : The servant King
Bible Reading : Malachi 1: 2-5 マラキ書1章２−５ 節
Message:「Jacob I Loved 」（ わたしの愛するヤコブ ）
Elder.Bob Drews ボブ・ドゥルース宣教師
Worship song: Worship song:
How deep the Father’s love for us ただ主の十字架に
Worship song: Awesome God 大いなる神
Benediction Rev.Shinichi Hirohashi 廣橋信一牧師
Jacob I Loved Malachi 1: 2-5
Fallen Condition Focus: Denying, forgetting, or presuming upon God’s love.
Thesis: God’s choice of Jacob is a powerful example of the intensely personal relationship God enters into.
- Jacob the man
- Jacob the country
- Jacob the church
I love to watch movies during the long flights between Japan and the US. I’ve become so efficient at watching movies that I can watch 6 during the flights. I alternate between US and Japanese movies. A couple of years ago I watched a tender and moving movie called, in English, Like Father, Like Son. The Japanese title was 「そして父になる」 Soshite Chichi ni naru. This movie explores two families whose sons were switched at birth. One family is from Tokyo, the other from the countryside. One family is high income, the husband a kaishain, the son given every advantage, but without any loving relationship between the father and his son. The other family has no money, but their family is close, the father loves his children and they have warm family life together. When the families are notified they have each other’s sons, it forces both fathers, especially, to consider what it means to be a parent; to think about the love of a father for his children and what it means to be family. Of course, the movie explores sensitive and difficult questions of life in modern Japan, but I think it also helps us understand the role of God the Father, and how he loves his children. That is the topic Malachi introduces as he accuses the Israelites of his own time of denying God’s love for them. I’m going to approach this a bit differently than a verse by verse analysis, as we’ll see that the name of Jacob means different things at different times in Bible history, and the story of Jacob and Esau grows in its meaning through Bible, so this evening I’d like us to see: Jacob the man, Jacob the nation, and Jacob the church.
Malachi is bringing a serious charge against the Jews in the restored Jerusalem. They are saying “God doesn’t care about us”. Or worse, “our obedience isn’t rewarded by God”. This charge sets the scene for a whole series of accusations about the devotional life of the Israelites. Malachi charges that, while perhaps not as grossly idolatrous as before the exile, the content of their worship is empty. Even though they mostly do the right things, they are at best just going through the motions. Remember, their situation is that they came out of exile 100 years earlier, rebuilt the temple and city of Jerusalem, but never regained their former independence and glory. No wonder they felt abandoned by God. Even their neighbor, the country of Edom, has been taunting them. If you remember your Bible history, you will know that Edom is descended from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob who was the ancestor of the Jews. This may sound like ancient and obscure history, but it is closely connected to the situation of the Jews in Malachi’s time, because Malachi will use the example of Esau and Jacob to prove that God truly loves the Israelites. And it is also closely connected to the Christians of our own time, because Paul uses the same example to prove God loves Christians as well.
Jacob the Man
So, now we have to go back and read a bit of Genesis. Jacob was the ancestor of the Israelite people. Let’s read Genesis 25: 21-26
And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you[c] shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.
So we see that Jacob was the son of Isaac, and a twin to Esau, but Esau was born first, and so Esau was the older son. By custom, Esau should have inherited his father’s property and social standing. Since Abraham had been given God’s promise to become a mighty nation, we would expect in the natural order of things for that promise to be fulfilled through Esau, but in two difficult and heartbreaking incidents, Esau first sells the birthright to Jacob, then Jacob steals their father’s blessing. So we see Jacob is not personally righteous, and he is not the rightful heir. Yet, God has chosen Jacob, not Esau. Jacob becomes the heir of the promise, not Esau. And in these twins, we see that God’s choice is not based on anything in the one chosen, but on God’s own loving mercy toward his children.
As Jacob and Esau grew, we see Jacob blessed with 12 sons, and he changes. He encounters God Himself and becomes a changed man, one who is humble and who gives honor to God. The book of Genesis follows Jacobs’ line, as they move to Egypt and the 12 sons become the 12 tribes of Israel, so numerous the Egyptians fear them and enslave them. Esau is not forgotten by God either, and also fathers a nation which becomes Edom, dwelling in the hill country to the east of Israel. And throughout the history of Israel, the conflict begun in Rachel’s womb continued.
Jacob the Country
When Malachi references Esau, he is referring to Edom, the country to Israel’s southeast, located in the mountains across from the Dead Sea. Throughout Bible history, Edom’s relationship to Israel is difficult. Without reviewing the entire history, what is most important here, is that the Edomites helped destroy Jerusalem along with the Babylonians, taking advantage of Israel’s defeat to loot戦利品） and pillage略奪） the city, taunting their ancient enemies. It might look to the Israelites as if God had favored the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, but Malachi is reassuring them that God is keeping his promises. God’s love for the Israelites is unconditional and eternal, based not on their perfection, but on his sovereign choice. He is reminding them that his plans and promises are sure, working themselves out over the long years of history, not, perhaps, to the time scale they, or we, would like. Although at the time of Malachi’s writing, Edom was still a whole country, not having been devastated荒廃した by the wars with the Babylonians, the future would not be so kind. Edom, like most nations, was slowly invaded and displaced.強制退去させる The Edomites were identifiable as a people into New Testament times, but their nation fell, never to be rebuilt, as Israel had been, and not bearing the promise of being a blessing to the nations, the covenant people who would bring God’s promises to fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Now we should deal with this specific term “Esau I hated”. 「私はエサウを憎み」(1:3)Does that phrase surprise you? Aren’t we taught that God is love? Yes, of course, 1 John 4: 8 tells us “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1john 4: 8「愛のない者に、神はわかりません。なぜなら神は愛だからです。」
But love is not God’s only characteristic, and does not limit his choices. So, we can see the term “hate” can mean the one not favored, or the one not chosen. We read in Genesis 29 when Jacob was marrying, first Leah, then her sister Rachel:
30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb,
So Jacob (or Israel) had hated Leah, but still gave her six sons! So the idea here is that he preferred Rachel, he liked her better. Even Jesus says ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother . . . he cannot be my disciple’ (Luke 14:26). Jesus is not telling us, ‘Hate your parents.’
In fact, the Bible teaches us to honor father and mother. Here the Banner of Truth’s Goeffry Thomas is helpful:
But please remember this, that when we speak of the divine hate then we remove from that emotion all those terrible features of the hatred we see today in the world of unregenerate men, in the cruelty and torture and suffering that they inflict on others. In God’s hate there is nothing unrighteous; in God’s hate there is no malice敵意 or malevolence悪意; in God’s hate there is no vindictiveness復讐心、執念; in God’s hate there is no unholy bitterness. You can never ascribe these attitudes to the God of love.
神の憎しみが不義であることはありえません。 神の憎しみには敵意や悪意はありません。 神の憎しみには復讐心はありません。 神の憎しみには、聖くない苦々しさはありません。 あなたはこれらの態度を決して愛の神のせいにすることはできません。」
In fact, we can see the way God cares for the one not chosen, in that Esau does become a numerous people, and is used in God’s redemptive plan as God’s agent in teaching His people Israel. As Jesus teaches in Matt 5: 45, For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. So, while God does not constantly attack Edom, through redemptive history, Israel was always God’s chosen people, and the fates of those around them, including the twin nation of Edom, were always under God’s sovereign plan to redeem a people for Himself through His son Jesus.
Jacob the Church
This may seem a strange point title, but to complete our study of this passage from Malachi, we must see how the Apostle Paul uses it in Romans chapter 9. There, Pauls quotes this very passage from Malachi. He does it to defend the Bible doctrine of election: That is, God’s choice in the redemption of a people. In Romans 9 Paul is dealing with the issue of how Abraham’s physical descendants, the Jewish people, could have been left behind, so to speak, with the coming of Christ. Instead of following Jesus as their rightful king, they put him to death, and Paul has been commissioned to bring the good news of forgiveness in Christ to the gentiles. Paul was being asked, what about the Jews? Were they chosen or not? And Paul’s answer is that, while all Jews were in the covenant community, not all had faith, and therefore, not all were truly children of Abraham. Paul is saying that to truly be Abraham’s children, we must have faith in God’s provision. And the mystery of what that provision was has been revealed to be Jesus as the true and perfect Israel, the true and perfect lamb of God. By faith in Christ, both Jew and Gentile are declared righteous, made new, and accepted by God. Who is this gift of faith for? On one hand, Paul is using the example of Jacob and Esau to prove that the gift is for those to whom God will give it. On the other hand, in Romans 10:9 Paul declares “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” So we have two profound teachings alongside one another: God chooses, but all who respond in faith are accepted by believing and confessing that Jesus is Lord and God raised him from the dead. So the doctrine of election, God’s choice, becomes for Christians, just what it meant to Malachi for the Jews: This is proof of God’s eternal, tenacious強い, profound深遠な, and unshakeable深遠な love for his people. And, that is a call for us to respond in worship.
I opened with a discussion of the movie, 「そして父になる」. The movie ends inconclusively結論に達しない. We don’t know what the outcome will be. Will the boys be returned to their birth parents? Will one family or the other raise both boys? Will they share the children somehow as a merged一緒になるfamily? Imagine this uncertainty from the perspective of the boys: How can they understand? What stability着実性 can they have? Both Malachi and Paul want Christians to not have to face the uncertainty, the confusion and fear the boys in the movie must have faced. They want us to know that God has ordered all of history to bring us to the point of faith. They want us to know that nothing can ever-ever-ever remove us from God’s fatherly care. They want us to know that, despite our fear, failure, and weakness, it isn’t our perfection that keeps us in God’s care, but Christ’s perfection, given to us by God’s loving plan that makes us right with him and guarantees our eternity with Him. If you don’t believe tonight, I want to ask by what path you have come to hear of God’s call tonight. If you are His, He will pursue you. Won’t you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart tonight? And if you have made that profession, Give God glory and thanks that (Rom 8: 31-35) If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.