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BOOK OF MALACHI – OVERVIEW

September 14, 2012

THE ORACLE OF THE WORD OF JEHOVAH
TO ISRAEL THROUGH MALACHI
(Malachi 1:1)
“My Messenger”
“Messenger of Jehovah”

1:1-5

1:6-2:9

2:10-3:15

3:16-4:3

4:4-6

God’s Love
Rejected!

Sin of Priests
Illicit Practices
Indifference

Sins of People
Mixed Marriage
Divorces
Robbing God

Blessing to all Who Fear Jehovah
God’s Wrath on the Wicked

Remember Law
Promises
Warnings

PRIVILEGE
OF
ISRAEL
Malachi 1:1-5
POLLUTION
OF
ISRAEL
Malachi 1:6-3:15
PROMISE
TO
ISRAEL
Malachi 3:16-4:6
PAST PRESENT FUTURE
CARE
OF
GOD
COMPLAINT
OF
GOD
COMING OF GOD
(The Day of the LORD)
(See also Mal 3:1-6)

GOD’S
COMPASSION
for Israel

GOD’S
COMPLAINT
Against Israel

GOD’S CONSOLATION to
Faithful Remnant
GOD’S CONDEMANTION of
Wicked

   

Mal 3:16    Book
of Remembrance

Mal 4:1 Coming of Messiah

Mal 4:4 Coming
of 
Elijah

GOD’S
LOVE
SADLY
SPURNED!

 

GOD’S
GRACE
STILL
OFFERED!

PLACE:
JERUSALEM

TIME OF WRITING:
Circa 435-415BC

LAST WORDS are always important, especially if they are from GOD! Malachi is God’s last word in the OT canon and sadly ends with a “CURSE” (Mal 4:6KJV-sermon) and 400 years of silence! Praise God that the NT canon introduces Jesus, the prophesied “Messenger of the Covenant” (Mal 3:1-sermon), Who removes the CURSE (Rev 22:3-note) and enables the NT to end with a BLESSING: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev 22:21-note)

After 70 yr of captivity, the Israelites had returned from the Babylonian exile, had rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple, but had failed to “rebuild” their lives for they failed to learn the spiritual lessons that had led to their exile! Too often we, like Israel, also fail to learn our lesson from God’s hand of loving discipline! As John Piper says Israel “had grown skeptical of God’s love (Mal 1:2), careless in worship (Mal 1:7), indifferent to the truth (Mal 2:6, 7), disobedient to the covenant (Mal 2:10), faithless in their marriages (Mal 2:15; 3:5) and stingy in their offerings (Mal 3:8).” Malachi (‘Messenger of Jehovah’ or ‘My Messenger’) faithfully proclaimed his “heavy” BURDEN (Mal 1:1) to Israel who was insensitive to the reminder of God’s love (Mal 1:2) and “ripe” for God’s message of retribution. Using a series of (7) question-and-answer volleys that went back amd forth like a tense tennis match, Malachi faithfully presented God’s “appeal accompanied by rich promises if the people responded and by stern warnings if they refused.” Collins wrote that the prophet’s message is an exhortation for us all to be “preparing ourselves for God’s blessing by presenting to Him the kind of lives He delights [to bless].” Indeed, for all who are backslidden God’s merciful call is ever “Return to Me and I will return to you” (Mal 3:7)

Malachi like all of God’s prophets (and anointed preachers) sought to afflict the “comfortable” (apathetic, indifferent, those just “going through the motions”) and comfort the afflicted. Wiersbe describes a church member who scolded her pastor for preaching on “The Sins of the Saints” arguing that “the sins of Christians are different from the sins of other people” to which her pastor quipped “Yes, they’re worse!” They are worse, for when believers sin, they not only break the LAW of God, but they break the HEART of God (cf Ezek 6:9-note). When a believer deliberately sins, it isn’t just the disobedience of a servant to a master or the rebellion of a subject against a king; it’s the offense of a CHILD against the LOVING FATHER. The sins we cherish and think we get away with bring grief to the heart of God.” “The great temptation for Israel in the OT and for the church of Christ today is to forget that we are pilgrims not natives in this world. The temptation is to let the Lord’s delay (in returning) make us settle into the world and become passive as we wait, forgetting that we are aliens & strangers on the earth, seeking another homeland.” (Piper

Although the last word in Malachi is “curse,” God does not end the OT without giving a word of hope, specifically the promise of a Messianic Hope… 

 Mal 3:1-sermon“Behold, I am going to send My messenger (John the Baptist), and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, Whom you seek (the Messiah), will suddenly come to His temple (Lk 2:21-32,38,46); and the Messenger of the Covenant, in Whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. 

Mal 4:2-sermon “But for you who fear My name (Ed: Here this equates with “believers”, cp Rev 14:6-note, Rev 14:7-note) the Sun (cf Ps 84:11-note) of righteousness (The LORD our righteousness = Jer 23:5, 6-sermon; 1Co 1:30-sermon)  will rise with healing in its (Lxx = genitive masculine singular = “His”) wings and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall (Allusion to Messiah’s future deliverance of the remnant = Ro 11:25, 26, 27-note and the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom)

And so, both Malachi and Revelation close with a description of the Second Coming of Christ, a truth which should serve to continually motivate us to seek “a better country, a heavenly one” (Heb 11:16-note), living set apart lives in light of the Coming of the “Sun (Son) of righteousness” Who will bring complete healing in His wings. (Mal 4:2-sermon) Hallelujah! Listen to this old Keith Green song To Obey is Better than Sacrifice which does a great job summarizing the message of Malachi… 

To obey is better than sacrifice
 I don’t need your money, I want your life!
 And I hear you say that I’m coming back soon
 But you act like I’ll never return!

RESOURCES:
MALACHI RESOURCES – SERMONS, COMMENTARIES, DEVOTIONAS

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