In the short book of Malachi, there is a reoccurring phrase “but you ask” (along with a few variations thereof). This turns into a Question and Answer monologue, with God voicing the people’s unspoken questions and then responding; Malachi records the whole thing.
Although Malachi’s culture is vastly different from our reality, there are still lessons we can learn — if we are willing.
Q: How have you loved us?
A: Consider your ancestors Jacob and Esau. I loved Jacob and hated Esau. Do you get it now? [Malachi 1:2-3]
Q: How have we shown contempt for your name?
A: By giving me defiled offerings. [Malachi 1:6-7]
Q: How have we defiled you?
A: By giving to me what is not suitable for anyone else. [Malachi 1:7-8]
Q: Why do you no longer pay attention to our offerings or accept them?
A: You have been unfaithful to your wife and broken your marriage vows. [Malachi 2:13-14]
Q: How have we wearied you?
A: By doing bad, yet claiming it is good and pleases me. [Malachi 2:17]
Q: How are we to return to you?
A: Stop robbing me. [Malachi 3:7-8]
Q: How do we rob you?
A: By withholding some of your tithes and offerings. [Malachi 3:8-10]
Q: What have we said against you?
A: By saying it is futile to serve me when I don’t bless you for doing what is expected. [Malachi 3:13-14]
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.