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Old Testament Survey

Malachi



  • Jesus is born 6/5 B.C.

  • Key Verses

    2:17
    3:1
    4:5, 6


    Key Chapters

    Chapters 3, 4


    Key Concepts

    “You say”
    Curse


    Thoughts for Reading

    Have you wearied the Lord with your actions?


    Malachi 2:17
    17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

    Title -- Author

    Malachi means “my messenger.” It may be a shortened form of a compound word similarly spelled which means “messenger of God.”

    Nothing is known of Malachi except what is stated in this book, the last of the Old Testament. Malachi is obvious written after 515 B.C., the date of the completion of the Temple. That the worship ritual has degenerated implies at least some passage of time after the worship had commenced. There are other similarities that suggests a date relatively close to Ezra and Nehemiah. One of the major problems faced by the prophet is inter-marriage with non-Israelites, a problem similar to that of Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 9--10; Neh 13:23-27; Mal 2:11). Further, the nation’s failure to tithe is prominent in Nehemiah and Malachi ((Neh 13:10-14; Mal 3:8-10). Also present, although more of a general prophetic theme is that of social injustices (Neh 5:1-13; Mal 3:5). Malachi, thus, can fit into any time frame related to Ezra and Malachi, a period that stretches from 468 B.C. to any time thereafter. Most feel the prophet came after Nehemiah and preached against a people who had forgotten the lessons Nehemiah taught them. This places the date between 435 B.C. and 400 B.C.

    PURPOSES

    Most of us may be familiar with Malachi because it is one of the strongest messages on tithing in the Old Testament and, thus, is frequently used by pastors.

    Malachi 3:10
    10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

    But Malachi is much more than this. As with the other prophets, Malachi is a call to repent and return to the covenant for blessings. The prophet reminds the people of what God will do for His people. But, the book is also a warning of judgment. The prophet stresses that God will bless the people in that judgment if they are faithful. The message is one delivered to a people who had gotten beyond the “high” of Nehemiah’s revival and had succumb to the temptations of everyday life. Malachi preaches for a return to the revival standard.

    A simple outline of Malachi is:

    Jesus in Malachi

    Malachi is the prophecy of the coming of Christ. This, the last prophet of the Old Testament literature, foresees the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptist. This vision occurs not once, but twice.

    Malachi 3:1
    Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

    Malachi 4:5-6
    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    Still, Malachi sees Jesus as well as His herald (Matt 11:10-14; Luke 1:11-17; John 1:21).

    Malachi 3:2-5
    2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. 4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

    The Old Testament ends with this look toward the arrival of Christ. It is based upon the sending of John the Baptist with the message of repentance one final time. John will lead the people to the One Who can forgive sins – Jesus Christ. This is all necessary because the people do not listen to the words of any of the prophets – at least not for any sufficient length of time.

    Malachi 4:4
    4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

    Have you remembered the Words of Scripture and applied them to your life?

     

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