Summary: Malachi was a prophet of God who prophesied in the last days before the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I are living in the last days before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Malachi is the final book in the Old Testament. Malachi has the last say in the Old Testament times. Malachi is kind of a transitional book. Between Malachi and the Old Testament we move into the New Testament. It is Malachi, the prophet of the Lord, who is used by the Lord to make a transition from the Old Testament time to the New Testament time. Malachi’s name means “my messenger.” He seems to hide himself behind the message as he delivers the word that God has to the people in this particular day. After the voice of Malachi goes silent, there are about 400 silent years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The voice of prophecy is not heard again until a man named John the Baptist, standing on the banks of the River Jordan says, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” When the Lord Jesus comes he says, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
Malachi was a prophet of God who prophesied in the last days before the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I are living in the last days before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are striking parallels between Malachi’s day and our day. In a day when people were to be ready and prepared for the first coming of the Lord, instead of expectancy there was great complacency and indifference.
We are living in the days before the coming of the Lord Jesus. We don’t know how long it is going to be. But we do know that we should be ready for the coming of the Lord and should prepare our hearts for His coming. Yet, around us we see conditions very similar to the day of Malachi.
Socially, it was a time when adultery was rampant. Divorce was very common. Children were being treated with a great deal of abuse. It was a time of ridiculous materialism.
Morally, it was a time when people had seemingly lost their understanding of right and wrong. We are living in a day that is very serious morally.
Also it is a time of great spiritual concern as well. In the days of Malachi we have the beginnings of formalism and skepticism which resulted in the phariseeism and sadduceeism in the days of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of being open and responsive to the coming of the Lord, there was a sense of indifference and unconcern. In fact, there was almost a sarcastic attitude.
As you read the book of Malachi you will discover that there is a word that occurs 7 times in the book of Malachi. It occurs in verse 2. The word is, wherein. “Wherein hast thou loved us?” Down in verse 6 he says, “Wherein have we despised thy name?” In verse 7 it occurs again, “Wherein have we polluted thee?”
It is a sarcastic word. It is kind of an “oh yeah” word. God makes His appeals to the hearts of the people and they respond with contempt. They respond with indifference and unconcern. They are almost insulting of the Lord. “Oh, yeah! Oh, really!”
So what we have in Malachi’s day is the “Oh yeah, the oh really” generation. We have a great deal of that today. There’s a great deal of spiritual unconcern in our day.
Notice what God says through Malachi to their day and I think it applies to our day also. The first thing we notice in these opening verses is that the people-
I.DOUBTED God’s love.
God declares His love in verse 2. “I have loved you, saith the Lord.” This is the last word in the Old Testament from God. From Genesis to the book of Malachi God has sent this message. The message He gives is the message of love. The great message of the Bible is the message of the love of God.
Malachi says in verse 1, “The burden of the word of the Lord.” The word, burden, there means to lift a heavy load. It’s like a heavy load was on Malachi. He had to deliver the message of the Lord. Sometimes the message of the Lord is a heavy burden. He declares the love of God, but he also declares the wrath of God. The preacher of the Word of God today, at times, has to do unpleasant things. If you are going to be faithful to the whole counsel of God you have to preach it all. You have to preach the love of God, but you also have to preach the wrath of God. You have to tell the truth about God. Too many people want a half-baked God. They want a half-Bible. They just want to hear half of the message. But the Bible gives us the entire counsel of God. God is a God of wrath, but now He says in verse 2, “I have loved you.” He is declaring His love. The people say, “Wherein have you loved us?”