Summary: Tells various ways God has showed his love toward us.
Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament therefore, Malachi is the last of the Prophets of God in that testament. The time of his book is stated to be about 420 BC.
The work of Malachi consisted of a call for repentance that the nation of Israel needed because of their evil practices. This prophet’s message was designed to recall and reclaim Israel unto God, and to assure them that the promise of a messiah was at hand.
Malachi opens with the words: The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?
The key word is burden, not so much what but who’s burden? Burden defined by Webster as: 1. something carried, 2. something difficult to bear physically or emotionally.
Elizabeth Achtemerier in her commentary notes on Malachi allows you to discover for yourself that the love of God has always been a burden to Him because of our rebellious nature, our hardness of heart and our ingratitude.
This problem begins from the very start with man’s disobedience to the word of God. It appears that God’s Love for us has given Him nothing but sorrow and grief over our continued wrong doings.
Listen to what is recorded in Genesis 6: 5-6.
5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Now think with me, can you remember a time in your Childhood life when you did wrong. When your parents were forced, because of your actions and they had to punish you? Stop and remember just before the beatings began you could hear them say "this hurts me more than it is going to hurt you!"
I as a child could not understand that then, when the strap was stinging into my body. I can remember however, in my child like mind saying to myself "well if it is going to hurt you more, then why don’t you just stop!”
Today as a parent, I understand better the concept found in our burden of love,which is established in the relationship of parent and child as it exist over the nature of right and wrong.
It does hurt, right to the core of your heart when you realize that somehow you failed to get across the understanding of right vs. wrong or that your child just continues to choose wrong in spite of all that you do.
Now in order to reinforce just what you meant by doing right, you force me now to do, that which I do not want to do, but I must so that you my child might be able to learn and grow.
How have you loved me?
God has loved us from the very start we have spoken of Genesis but let us look now in Exodus 14:
11. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
12. Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. (Exodus 14: 11 – 12)
Despite the fact that with a mighty hand God delivered them out of the hands of Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. Now look upon Israel in the wilderness with the dusk clouds of Pharaoh’s army marching after them the people became so afraid, they started to cry out in disbelief against Moses and God.
Their disbelief in the ability of an able God to me is unreal. For who was it, that made Pharaoh let His people go!
Just as God in His wisdom, made a way for his people when confronted by Pharaoh and his army. God has promised to make a way for you.
This same type of disbelief is found in the church today. This inability to trust God, to place your faith in him with the cares of this world in spite of all the good things God has already done for us.
One of the biggest obstacles in the growth of ministry in the life of the Church has happened when we as a people have suffered from disbelief.
You know what I am talking about those moments when the idea comes along to reach out and do, and then that long time member(you know who they are) reminds us that we had better not go to far.