Malachi (whose name means ‘My messenger’) is a prophet from God with a message (burden)
about the spiritual state of God’s people.
So what was his burden? Malachi was concerned about the spiritual life of the nation
of Israel, the covenant people of God. There was hypocrisy amongst Israel’s spiritual
leaders (the Priests) but also among the ordinary folks too. Spiritual life had reached
a plateau of complacency and people were not following the Lord as they should have
Where and when did he write? He wrote in Jerusalem the centre of the Jewish nation
and the time is about 400 years before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. The historical
background is that the Jewish people had miraculously returned from captivity in
Babylon, rebuilt their Temple, recommenced sacrifices and offerings, and repaired
the breaches in the city walls. Outwardly things seemed to be going well BUT there
were problems within and at the highest level.
So how does he write? His style is remarkable. Throughout the book there is a repeated
pattern: the Lord speaks and makes a statement challenging the spiritual life of
the people. Malachi then gives people’s response: ‘How have we done this?’ and then
Malachi gives the Lord’s response again to their supposed question. Malachi’s book
is a challenge to genuine love and obedience to the Lord. It is a ‘wake up call’
to God’s people and is as much needed today as when it was first given.
Malachi – The Lord’s messenger
“I have loved you” says the LORD (Malachi 1v3)
Who was Malachi? Nobody knows for sure. However since the Scripture tells us so little
about him, it is clear we are meant to give our attention to his message rather than
his personal life and circumstances. He may have been a Priest – that is where the
focus of his message lies. Why did he write? Malachi was a man with a burden. This
is made clear in the opening verse of the book (1v1).
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