Malachi Introduction

Malachi Introduction

As we all know, the Book of Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. The prophet Malachi ministered in the fifth century b.c. after the Temple had been rebuilt. God appropriately used Malachi because his name means "my messenger."

Our materialistic society focuses on what we possess and the pleasures of life, rather than on the spiritual things we need. This is what had happened to the nation of Israel. The people had forgotten God and had failed to do what He required of them. Malachi's message was simply, "Turn back to God." In other words, the people needed to turn their hearts back to God and to change their actions.

The priests were the spiritual leaders and the people followed their example. In Malachi 2:7 God says, "'The lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction—because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.'" However the priests had turned away from the Lord and by their teaching had caused many to stumble.

In Malachi 2:11 we read, "Judah has broken faith . . . and has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god." The people were marrying foreigners who worshiped idols.

In verse 17 Malachi tells the people, "You have wearied the Lord with your words. 'How have we wearied him?' you ask. By saying, 'All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them.'"

In chapter 3 God says the day of the Lord is coming, "but who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap" (3:2). In other words, He will come to judge. He will testify against "'adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice'" (3:5).

The Lord urges the people to return to Him (3:7). He tells them that they have robbed Him by withholding their tithes and offerings. If they will bring Him the whole tithe, He will "open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing" that they will not have room enough for it (3:10).

God knows the people who fear and honor Him, as well as those who rob Him. When the day of the Lord comes, we will see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not (3:16-18).

In chapter 4 the Lord says, "'Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel '" (4:4). The Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses by His own hand are still in effect today. We should live our lives according to them.

Fill in the blanks on the worksheet and on the "Go to the Word" sheet, and may God bless you as you study His Word.

By: Warren Simmons