Summary: Malachi’s record of God’s oracles was from the heart of God, brutally honest, and full of hope.
The Oracle of God
An oracle is a prophetic pronouncement. Malachi is a record of the oracle of God to the people of Judah. It was given about 400 years before the coming of Jesus at a time of rebuilding the nation. It was at a time when things were not going well for the people of Judah and they had been complaining to God about their difficult circumstances.
Malachi’s record of God’s oracles was from the heart of God, brutally honest, and full of hope.
The 1st Oracle: God Loves You
The 2nd Oracle: You Don’t Honor God
The 3rd Oracle: You are Faithless
The 4th Oracle: The Lord is Coming
The fourth oracle is a word of hope with an urgent call to action. It begins with a rather harsh observation about the people of Judah. Read with me the word of Malachi in chapter 2, verse 17.
You have Wearied the Lord with Words
17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
If you have ever taken a long journey by car with children in the back seat you understand what it means to be wearied by words. Are we there yet? I have to go to the bathroom. I’m hungry. He hit me. She’s making noises. How much longer? I’m thirsty. Oops. My finger’s stuck. He took my marshmallow. I lost my crayon.
"Mom, he's looking at me like that again!", "Mom, now he's trying to fart!", "Mom, he keeps mouthing "help me" to people in other cars!", "Mom, he keeps on putting his finger in his nose and then touching me with it."
The people of Judah were on a long trip with God and they just kept talking at God… not praying to God mind you – talking at Him. Why do all the evil people have nice houses and lots to eat? Why do you let the other nations press in on us? Are we there yet? He’s got my stuff! It’s not fair!
They, like children were never happy! Everyone else gets all the good stuff and we sit in this crummy, wretched land that is dry, dusty, and old.
My personal favorite: “Where is the God of Justice?” Notice that this one has a real edge to it and Malachi calls them on it as well as their constant complaining. He tells them why they need to make an attitude adjustment and a behavioral change but before he does he tells them why they need to pay attention.
The Lord is coming! Malachi gives us three important and prophetic pieces about the first appearance of the messiah in our world.
The Lord is Coming… Suddenly
1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi prophesied that when the Lord comes it will be sudden! Before his appearing there will be a messenger who prepares the way. That’s John, the Baptist, who came to announce the coming of the messiah.
Yet, as we look at the events of his coming, even with the announcement of his coming his appearance was “sudden” and unexpected – especially in the temple!
Every time Jesus came to Jerusalem it always seemed to catch the people off guard and unprepared.
When Jesus was a 12 year old boy and visited with his parents he taught the teachers in the temple and they marveled at his words.
When Jesus came to the temple at the beginning of his 3 years of ministry he surprised the profiteers by overturning their money tables and chasing them out of the courtyards.
Just before His arrest, trial and crucifixion, His teaching rebuked and stunned the Pharisees. They were shocked His words that hit with the force of a club.
His presence came suddenly and not at all in the way that the people had pictured.
He came with a purpose, to be a messenger of the covenant of God.
The word that is used here is in the OT 214 times. About half the time it is translated as messenger and the other half of the time it is translated as angel. Angels are messengers – remember that. We’ll touch on it again in a few minutes.
Jesus was coming to be a messenger bringing a covenant of hope. Through him we will become the blessed people of God again!
This word of encouragement is given with just a hint of sarcasm on the part of Malachi as he speaks of the one “in whom you delight.”