Malachis name means "The Angel (or messenger) of the Lord." He was the last of the prophets, and flourished about four hundred years before Christ. He foretells the coming of Christ; the reprobation of the Jews and their sacrifices; and the calling of the Gentiles, who shall offer up to God in every place an acceptable sacrifice.
1. God reproaches the Priests. Malachis starting point is
Gods love. Israel enjoys a unique Father-Son relationship with God. He is in a
special sense their Lord. But their attitude over the sacrificial offerings show their
contempt for him.The left overs are good enough for God, although they know the rules.
They dishonour and belittle his greatness. It would be better to close the temple and stop
the sacrifices altogether. Malachi 1:1-14.
2. The priests shall be punished. The task God committed to his ministers, the Levites, was to teach the truth, and by their own lives to set an example. But instead of turning people away from wrong, they have actively misled them. Malachi 2:1-9.
3. Judah unfaithful. The Jews were marrying pagan women which was forbidden. What is more, the older men were cruelly discarding their ageing wives for these attractive young foreigners. God requires faithfulness from his people: faithfulness to himself and faithfulness in human relationships. Malachi 2:10-16.
4. Gods people can always look around and see godless men and women flourishing. It seems unfair. But in the final winding-up of things there will be absolute justice. The Lord is coming, first to purify, and then to judge. And a messenger will be sent on ahead to prepare the way. (A direct prophesy of John the Baptist and Christ.) Malachi 2:17 & 3:1-5.
5. Robbing God. God does not change nor do his people. They have been fickle from first to last. God gives them all they have, yet they rob him even of his legal dues. When we hold back from giving, through self-interest, we deprive ourselves of all the good things God would otherwise give us. Malachi 3:6-18.
6. The day is coming when God will even things out once and for all. For some, the wicked, the fierce brilliance of that day will burn like fire. But those who honour God will rejoice in its healing rays. Malachi 4:1-3.
7. To end his prophecy Malachi reminds the people of the law given to Moses. Malachi 4:4-6.