Malachi rebuked the people and the priests for neglecting the worship of God and failing to live according to God’s will. If the priests were unfaithful, how could they lead the people? They had become stumbling blocks instead of spiritual leaders. If the people were divorcing their wives and marrying pagan women, how could they lead their children? Their relationship to God had become inconsequential. When our relationship with God becomes less important than it should b, we can strengthen it by setting aside our sinful habits, thinking often of our Lord, and giving God our best each day.
Malachi paints a stunning picture of Israel’s unfaithfulness that clearly shows them to be worthy of punishment, but woven throughout this message is hope – the possibility of forgiveness. This is beautifully expressed in 4:2 – “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise like healing in its wings. An you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”
The book of Malachi provides a bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. As you read Malachi, see for yourself as the recipient of this word of God to his people. Evaluate the depth of your commitment, the sincerity of your worship, and the direction of your life. Then allow God to restore your relationship with him through his love and forgiveness.
The Hebrew name “Malachi” means “my messenger,” or perhaps “messenger of (the Lord)” if “Malachi” is a shortened for of “Malachiah.” The book of Malachi follows the pattern of 14 other prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the other 11 Minor Prophets), where the author is introduced by name in the opening verses using language similar to Malachi 1:1.
The book offers no clear pointer to the date of its composition. Nevertheless, most scholars agree that Malachi was probably a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah in the mid-fifth century B.C.
To Whom Written:
The Jews in Jerusalem and God’s people everywhere
To download a PDF outline of Malachi click here.
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