DATE: 450-400 B.C.
We know nothing about the prophet Malachi. There is no historical record of him, nor is any genealogy given. We do know that his name means “my messenger” and he does exactly that. He delivers the message that God has given him. In the 55 verses, God is referred to in 53 verses. Malachi presents God as a Father who has spiritual children who do not return His love. Because their hearts were not devoted to God, their families were not devoted to God. The people chose lethargy over legacy, apathy over adoration.
Malachi prophesied about 100 years after the return of the Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem. The city and the second Temple had been built, but the initial enthusiasm of the people had diminished. Following revival under Nehemiah (Neh 10:28-39), the people and priests had backslidden to the point of making unworthy offerings (Mal 1:7) and being delinquent in their tithing (Mal 3:8), and yet they could not understand why God was dissatisfied with them.
Malachi rebuked the people for their neglect of the true worship of the Lord (Mal 1:6) by using a question-and-answer method (23 questions in this book). Malachi also called God’s people to repentance (Mal 3:7).
OUTLINE OF MALACHI
I. God’s Compassion for Israel, 1:1-5
A. His Compassion Declared, 1:1-2a
B. His Compassion Doubted, 1:2b
C. His Compassion Demonstrated, 1:3-5
II. God’s Complaint Against Israel, 1:6-3:15
A. Cheating, 1:6-14
B. Unfaithfulness, 2:1-9
C. Spiritually Mixed Marriages, 2:10-12
D. Divorce, 2:13-16
E. Impiety and Impertinence, 2:17
F. Parenthesis: The Coming of John the Baptist, 3:1-6
G. Robbery, 3:7-12
H. Arrogance, 3:13-15
III. God’s Condemnation of the People, 3:16-4:6
A. The Ungodly People, 3:16-18
B. The Nature of God’s Judgment, 4:1-6
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Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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