Summary of Malachi
The prophet Malachi wrote it approximately 430 B.C.
Key personalities include Malachi and the priests. The purpose of this book is that Malachi wrote to ensure that the hearts of the Jews was right and that they were keeping God first in their lives.
Chapters 1-3 – Malachi identified the sins of the Jews, including their priests.
He prophesied that God would send a messenger to prepare the way (this is John the Baptist),
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Mal 3:1).
Finally, he addressed the topic of tithes and offering and that God is stolen from when people disobey it.
Chapter 4 – the last chapter of the Old Testament, Malachi addressed:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Mal 4:5).
He teaches about the coming judgment when God will set them ablaze in His holy anger. He also gives hope to the faithful with the Book of Remembrance. Those who do the will of God and are righteous will be spared.
Malachi, the last book of the Bible, ends very differently than it began in the book of Genesis. Let us compare them:
Gen 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This was a beautiful and perfect relationship with God.
Mal 4:6 – “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”
Consider the large contrast between the very first verse and the very last verse. Afterward, consider that “the sin of mankind” made all the difference.
The Old Testament begins with the magnificent power of God’s creation and ends with fear and separation from God and in need of a Savior. The Old Testament closes with a sad dreary clunk.
Malachi, which means “My messenger,” focuses largely on the corruption of the priests, the neglect of God’s Temple, and the personal sins of the people.
He was sent as a prophet sometime between 450 – 425 BC to Jerusalem at a time when the spiritual zeal of the people was at a low.
The Book of Malachi is the last book of the twelve Minor Prophets, and the last book in the Old Testament.
Malachi ends his book with a prophecy concerning the coming Messiah and his forerunner, John the Baptist (called Elijah).
In this way, the Old Testament ends looking toward what God would do in the New Testament.
The theme of his book is that the people had not learned the lessons that they should have learned from the Babylonian Captivity that had taken place shortly before the time of Malachi.
The people were sent into captivity as punishment for their sins, and now they were doing the same things all over again.
But Malachi finds hope in the coming Messiah who will make all things right because He comes with the power of God.