Malachi is unique among the prophets in the way he reveals the realities of life and worship among God’s people. Then acknowledging the people’s questions of surprise and disbelief, he answers with specific details how they are out of step with God and His will. At the heart of this powerful book are His people living faithfully, and His promise of a future hope in His Messiah. In the Sunday morning series we will discover the very practical lessons that show how we can live in a way that honors our God and looks forward to our glory.
Malachi teaches negative lessons requiring a positive, decisive response. The purpose of his prophecy is to warn us and encourage us to get things right. At issue is giving adequate attention to our attitude toward the way we see, love, honor, and serve God.
The remorse felt by the remnant of Israel who returned to rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem must have been short lived (Nehemiah 8-9). As Ezra brought out the book and read aloud the law that had been forsaken, the people reacted with great mourning. Instructing them to stop their crying, Nehemiah calls them to restore the things they had been neglecting. It appears that after Nehemiah had returned to the king, the people resorted to their old ways.
Without strong leaders who fear God, His people are left to their own devices. It’s not that they had no men in positions of leadership, but these men failed miserably in their task. Much like Aaron, their predecessor and original priest between God and man, who had failed to honor the name of Jehovah when he crafted the golden calf and set it up as the god who delivered the Hebrews from Egypt, the priests of Malachi’s day appear inept in their execution of accepting and presenting the worshiper’s offerings. It becomes abundantly clear that the position does not define the character of the man. It is not long before Israel begins to lean on their own understanding rather than trusting in the Lord with all their heart and acknowledging Him in all their ways (Proverbs 3:5-6).