Summary: What does Malachi have to say to our generation?
Prophecy to Our Present Age
Introduction: This is a five-part study of the last book of the Old Testament. What relevance could a prophet who lived over 2000 years ago have for us as Christians in this present day and age? We will look at the writing of Malachi over the next few weeks and consider the importance of his message as it applies to our lives. I believe there is a reason why God gives this Book as the last words of the Old Testament.
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A. Malachi, “The messenger of Jehovah.”
1. Nothing is known of his nationality or of his ancestry.
2. None of the other prophets of the day; Ezra and Nehemiah, mentioned him by name.
3. The name Malachi has specific meaning.
a. The Septuagent gives his name as Malachius, which means “the messenger of Jehovah”.
b. Malachi could be an abbreviated form of Malachia.
c. The name could be a title because from the name Joel (another prophet we have read), his name means, “the Lord Jehovah”.
4. Malachi is careful to refer to himself only as “a bearer of the burden of the Word of God”.
a. Unlike other prophets, he tells us nothing about himself or where he is from.
b. Throughout the prophecy he excludes all personal data.
c. He simply comes to us as Malachi, consumed with a passion to deliver his message from the Lord Jehovah.
B. Malachi was to deliver a deliberate and profound message to his era and age and pronounced God’s message to His people.
1. This message has direct correlation and application to our present age.
2. Preachers of today need to be messengers of God who relate His message to a fallen world.
3. God’s word has a solid foundation that was true then, as it is true today.
I. Malachi’s Era.
A. We first need to consider the state of the people’s heart.
1. As Malachi delivered his message the people replied each time with the same keyword – “Wherein” (found in the King James edition).
a. Chapter 1, verse 2, “I have loved you, says the Lord. Yet you say, wherein have you loved us?”
b. Chapter 1, verse 6, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I were a father, where is my honor? And if I were a master, where is my fear? Says the Lord of Hosts unto you, the priests that despise my name. And you say, wherein have we despised your name?”
c. Chapter 1, verse 7, “You offer polluted bread upon my altar. And you say, wherein have we polluted you?”
d. Chapter 2, verse 17, “You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say wherein have we wearied him?"
e. Chapter 3, verse 7, “Return to me and I will return unto you, says the Lord of Hosts. But you say, wherein shall we return?”
f. Chapter 3, verse 8, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, wherein have we robbed you?”
g. Chapter 3, verse 13, “Your words have been strong against me, says the Lord. Yet you say, wherein have we spoken so much against you?”
2. Seven times did Malachi come to them with specific charges and seven times the people just didn’t get it.
a. First he tells them the Lord loves them and they ask how.
b. Then he tells them they have despised the Lord and they answer how have we despised the Lord.
c. Then the Lord tells them they have desecrated his altar and again they ask how.
d. The Lord then tells them he is wearied by their sin and they answer what sin.
e. The Lord then tells them to repent and they answer repent from what.
f. The Lord then tells them they are negligent to tithing and again they plead ignorance.
g. Finally, he tells them they have profaned the Lord’s name and they answer piously when did we do that.
3. These people just didn’t get it! They are pharisaic, legalistic, self-righteous, pompous, self-centered and blind to their own condition.
a. They are talking the talk but know how are they walking the walk.
b. They are doing the form of Judaism, performing the correct rituals, everything is being done to the very last minute detail.
c. They are absolutely astonished by what the prophet is telling them, “wherein”; “What you talking ‘bout, Malachi?” “What do you mean?”