Well, here we are. The last Overview of the Old Testament.
We read approximately 2000 years of God’s history in just 9 months. Amazing. So on your mental timeline, we are at around 400 BC. (Christ will be born in year 4 B.C.)
This is the last book of the Old Testament and it falls under the category of prophecy in your Bible. The remnant returned to Jerusalem in about 100 years ago in 3 different journeys. We had a time of revival under Ezra and Nehemiah but we read the end of History, they went back into the cycle of apostasy (falling away from the Lord). The priests are lax and degenerate. The temple is neglected, sacrifices are not a priority.
The Jews are waiting for a King to show up from the Line of David to restore the glory of Jerusalem. Malachi assures them that the Messiah will come, but it will mean judgment for them rather than glory! This is the book that will bridge the Old Testament and the New Testament.
“Malachi” means “my messenger.” The prophet’s name was appropriate since God had commanded him to bear this “word” to the people of Israel. The prophet was not the source of the revelation that follows; he was only a messenger whose job it was to communicate a message from The Lord.
Malachi used the ‘question and answer’ method extensively. This method became increasingly popular, and in the time of Christ, the rabbis and scribes used it frequently, as did the Lord Jesus.
Essentially, the Israelites disputed God’s love, His name, and His will concerning: marriage and divorce, His justice, His demands regarding stewardship, and His service.
We will read 4 short chapters about:
- First, the love for Israel 1:2-5
- But then:
- he priests’ illicit practices and indifferent attitudes
- The people’s mixed marriages and divorces
- The problem of God’s justice
- The people’s sin of robbing
- The arrogant and the humble 3:13—4:3
In each case, they responded by challenging his criticism. They said, “How have we done that?” Their response indicated the hardness of their heart, a resistance to deal with the internal conditions in their hearts that needed correcting. They believed that since they were serving God, He must be pleased with them. Malachi said that their hearts were not right with God, and He was not pleased with them.
We will end this book with some of the most specific prophecies about the coming Messiah we have read yet!
I still can’t believe we are ending the OT!!! That was awesome. (But hard!)
And then Silence for 400 years!!