THE O.T. UNVEILING OF GOD
"1 have loved you, saith Jehovah" Mal. 1:2
That is the key-note of the messages of the last of the prophets sent to the people of God until the herald of Messiah immediately preceded Him. The tense is not past in its intention, but continuous. If we treat it as past, we must recognize that it covers the whole of that past. There had been no falling off or failure in the DIVINE LOVE for His people. The declaration is all the more arresting when it is seen that the people had lost their LOVE for Jehovah to such a degree that they questioned His LOVE for them. They said: "Wherein hast Thou LOVED us?" Malachi exercised his ministry probably about a hundred years after Nehemiah's time. The people were established in the city, the Temple services were observed, and they were enjoying a good measure of material prosperity. But they were alienated from God in affection; their religious observances were formal; their morality was external, and in many ways was failing even so. This man was raised up, and sent by God, to recall them to the deeper things of their life, and all these were conditioned within the fact of the DIVINE LOVE; and only possible of realization by their consciousness of that LOVE, and response to it. The whole prophecy is true to this key note. The sensitiveness of the Divine heart is wonderfully revealed from first to last. LOVE speaks throughout. It is severe in its denunciation of sin; but it never abandons the loved ones. LOVE argues with them, pleads with them, warns them, appeals to them; and it is all LOVE, and always LOVE, and that in spite of their coldness, pride, and lack of response. This is THE UNVEILING OF GOD WITH WHICH THE OLD TESTAMENT ENDS. And in the N.T. that LOVE is revealed in a PERSON.