This first part of our 2-part study in the book of Malachi was given by Pastor Barry Forder on the 17th July 2022 at Calvary Portsmouth.
Malachi (whose name means ‘my messenger’) comes onto the scene around 60 years after the Jews had returned from the captivity in Babylon. Dr Chuck Missler comments:
- “The Temple was rebuilt; priestly worship carried on; but the people had fallen into spiritual decline, and their attitudes developed later into the sects of the Pharisees and Sadducees”
Malachi, as God’s messenger to the people challenges the people’s apathy and idolatry. God is a God of love, so much so that Malachi refers to God’s love for Israel as a burden, but God is also a God of justice and cannot condone of overlook sin.
Malachi warns the people that God’s judgment is coming. Only after that will they once again return to the LORD and walk in His blessing.
Malachi is the third & last of the post-exile prophets (Haggai and Zechariah being the other two).
–Written around 486-464 B.C.
- His name means ‘My messenger’
- Jewish tradition states that Malachi was a member of the “Great Synagogue,“ and a Levite from Supha, in Zebulun
- Through Malachi God speaks one more time to the nation before the ‘big day’
- Israel had become apathetic, entering into mixed marriages & withheld that which should have been given to the LORD
The message of Malachi could just as easily have been written directly to us:
- God has delivered us from out captivity
- Do we now think we can just live and worship in the way we please?
- Have we become apathetic?
- Have we entered into mixed marriages with the things of this world?
- Have we withheld from God that which we should have given Him?
- Maybe God is speaking to us one last time before our ‘big day’?
The outline of the book is as follows:
- Introduction 1:1
- God’s unchanging love for His own 1:2-5
- The total failure of the priests 1:6-2:9
–The priests should preserve knowledge!
- Their failure to value covenants 2:10-16
–Their covenant with God, symbolised by the covenant of marriage
- The Messiah’s coming in judgment 2:17-3:6
- Israel’s sin yet future restoration 3:7-18
- The coming & mission of Elijah 4:1-5
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.