My Messenger, Malachi Part 1

Message for the church today, for the leaders, for the people
one of three post exilic books along with Haggai and Zechariah
450-430 BC in the time of Nehemiah or Ezra
No historical references in book (ie kings’ names)
516 BC temple rededicated
Written during time of restoration of Judah
Last book chronologically

 

Composition

Patterns approach and techniques to be aware of:

Presented like it’s a dialogue but it’s a monologue

God asks a question through Malachi and then He answers His own question

Set off by this one word wa’ămartem wa·’ă·mar·tem
“yet you say” “but you say” and a few other ways
and then God answers for them

Jeremiah 17:10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

Seven questions God asks and answers on their behalf (We will point out along the way) this forms the basis for the first three chapters

Five Messengers

1. The prophet Malachi

2. The priests, the failed messengers

3. John the Baptist who prepared the way for Christ’s first coming

4. Jesus Christ is the Messenger of the New Covenant

5. Elijah the prophet to come

 

21 times the “Says the LORD of hosts; ” (it’s an emphatic power move) reinforcing that He is the commander of the army of angels; the`Lord of the hosts of heaven, of the universe, of everything. He is the one that has shown His power in the past, is showing it in the present and will show it in the future.

 

Usage of this term in the prophets

Isaiah 53 (66 chapters); Jeremiah 71 (52 chapters); Micah 1 ( chapters); Nahum 2 ( chapters); Habakkuk 1 ( chapters); Zephaniah 2 ( chapters);
Haggai 12 (2 chapters) Post exilic; Zechariah 46 (14 chapters) Post exilic; Malachi 24 (4 chapters) Post exilic

Chapter 1

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

Why a burden – such is the life of a prophet

Matthew 23:34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,
Matthew 23:35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Some believe that the end of the book of Zechariah was written by Malachi

This is the circumstance that Malachi was writing and living under

word of the LORD… as we brought out before this is God talking for Him AND them and then God answering. So this more completely the word of God than if they were actually answering – and they might not have answered correctly – hemming and hawing and making excuses and telling half-truths or lies.

Malachi means My Messenger or messenger of Yehovah

This is the only place this word/name is found in the Bible

Was he a real person or just the messenger?

No other book is by a fake person

Minor prophet is not the focus any way

As a part of the nation of Israel they are sometimes referred to as Israel especially considering that they are a part of the covenant that was made with Israel (Judah being a part of that)

That being said, this can also point to modern day Israel as well as spiritual Israel (the church today) as we will see as we go along.

Malachi 1:2 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved;

Question #1 ‘In what way have You loved us?’

God is love yet they do not see this
He loved them very much and wanted their love in return
They were thankless and unappreciative of what God had done for them.

Examples: Delivery out of Egypt; gave them the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey; protected them against adversaries, and so on

How is it that they don’t know how God loved them.

Malachi 1:3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”

Paul interprets this verse for us thankfully

Romans 9:10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac
Romans 9:11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls),

not born yet so they had not done anything good or bad yet, so when God spoke these next words it was by a calling and not based on works

Romans 9:12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

Esau being the first born would have the rights. But God does it according to His will. Not because of the physical but on promise and purpose and those that had the characteristics He wanted to work through

Romans 9:13 As it is written, “JACOB I HAVE LOVED, BUT ESAU I HAVE HATED.”

This is how we are to interpret this verse now. God was working with Jacob in a special way that He was not with Esau and subsequently Esau followed a very carnal path.

This is part of how God’s election works. It is for HIS reasons

Main point is that God chose Jacob over Esau (even though Esau was first), it was His will that mattered not ours.

He was making a point. He could have just as easily had Jacob come out first but instead He wanted to make a point here.

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!

He says this right on the heels of saying “Esau have I hated” So whatever it exactly means because God said it, that means that it cannot be unrighteous.

It does not make God unrighteous because he chooses one over another. God is not unfair, He is MERCIFUL and all will have the opportunity for salvation.

Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOMEVER I WILL HAVE COMPASSION.”

God has a plan that He is working out and He knows what is best

It is not mercifully and compassionate to call someone to failure.

Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills [not us], nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

It simply was not Esau’s time.

Malachi 1:4 Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.

Esau/Edom was the perpetual nemesis and antagonist of Israel/Judah

Amos 1:11 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.

Psalm 83 it will be this way in the future as well

But God is saying here that He will not let them rise or become significant in power as much as they tried

Malachi 1:5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, ‘The LORD is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’

God gives evidence of his blessings
God loved them from the beginning.

Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’

Question #2 on their behalf

Father and Master

He did not get the respect that He was due

Not only that but they despised His name and they are in the priesthood (dichotomy)

When we act, we define the name of God

We reflect who and what He is in the eyes of those around us

a name is who and what you are

My name…what’s in a name: Benedict Arnold; Adolf Hilter; Abraham (father of the faithful), Daniel (man greatly beloved), John (the disciple whom Jesus loved)

how were they defining His name?

The priests, by their actions, despised the name of God – in actuality they were despising God

Aimed first and foremost at the priests

Priests are to expedite access to God by teaching righteously and by setting the right example

Applicable today on to modern day Israel and Judah

But perhaps it more closely relates to the church and it’s people (congregation in the wilderness and the temple)

Here is how they despised His name

Malachi 1:7 “You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’

Question #2a

The answer to :6

They believe that it mattered what they offered on it they said; they watered down the truth; taking license

Acceptable Offerings

Leviticus 22:17 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Leviticus 22:18 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, who offers his sacrifice for any of his vows or for any of his freewill offerings, which they offer to the LORD as a burnt offering—
Leviticus 22:19 you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats.
Leviticus 22:20 Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf.
Leviticus 22:21 And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
Leviticus 22:22 Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the LORD.
Leviticus 22:23 Either a bull or a lamb that has any limb too long or too short you may offer as a freewill offering, but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
Leviticus 22:24 ‘You shall not offer to the LORD what is bruised or crushed, or torn or cut; nor shall you make any offering of them in your land.
Leviticus 22:25 Nor from a foreigner’s hand shall you offer any of these as the bread of your God, because their corruption is in them, and defects are in them. They shall not be accepted on your behalf.’ ” [Leviticus 1:3; 7:19-21; Deuteronomy 15:21]

This should put :8 in context for us

Malachi 1:8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts.

It’s not much of a sacrifice to offer an animal that might die or is of little or no value to you

offerings should be the best
you wouldnt give this to your governor
do you think he would like the rotten and putrid

Malachi 1:9 “But now [if you] entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts.

You want from God but this is the way that you treat Him

The answer is obviously no (see verse 10).

Malachi 1:10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the LORD of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.

Their actions spoke for them. They wanted what God had to offer but were unwilling to do their part

Possible allusion to Christ coming and doing away with the temple

At the least no Phineas type

Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the LORD of hosts.

Prophecy for the future

Isaiah 11:10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”

To the Jew first (Romans 1:16)

Romans 11 grafting the Gentiles into the plan of salvation

1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Sacrifices Message

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises [type of spiritual sacrifice] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Among the nations.…points more to a time in the future

Malachi 1:12 “But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the LORD is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’

They are saying that because they are not getting anything out of these rituals, that this process is useless

Jews were questioning whether God was really with them and looking after them because they were not seeing the evidence of it. Of course they were not doing their part and they put the blame on God by saying this

Malachi 1:13 You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” Says the LORD of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the LORD.

Tired of serving God who gives us everything, this is in effect what the priests were saying

God wants our best from us.

They were trying to cheat God – this was unacceptable

Malachi 1:14 “But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished— For I am a great King,” Says the LORD of hosts [commander of the spiritual army and all that is in the universe], “And My name is to be feared among the nations.

vow had a sacrifice attached to it as we read before (Leviticus 22:18)

They were not willing to do their part in the relationship

Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

There should be a true fear here especially to do the things that they were doing