New series on Malachi begins Sunday!
I’m excited about this Sunday as we begin a short series through the Old Testament book of Malachi. Now Malachi is one of those more obscure Old Testament prophets that might be more unfamiliar to you. It’s one of 12 minor prophets (called ‘minor’ not because the message is less important, but due to its shorter length) that is probably most well-known for being the last book of the Old Testament. After Malachi, there was four hundred years of silence in Israel until John the Baptist came on the scene preaching repentance in the Gospels.
So, what does this short, ancient, prophetic book have to say to us today? So much! The situation is that after years of Babylonian and Persian captivity, God has brought his people back to Jerusalem. Through the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra the city and the temple has been rebuilt, but the former glory of Jerusalem just isn’t there. The people are going through the motions. Their heart is not in it and they’re questioning God’s goodness to them. Can he really be trusted to do what he said he would do? The people are pessimistic about this, and it’s affecting everything—their worship, their marriages, their giving, the way they treat others, their hope. In other words, there is a spiritual apathy, a complaining spirit, and sense of entitlement hanging over God’s people. So, what does God have to say to them? That’s the message of Malachi—a stern word of rebuke, and a glorious message of hope and eventual triumph.
It’s a shorter book, only four chapters, and I think it’ll take us six or seven weeks to work through. The Old Testament prophetic books are some of the most unfamiliar portions of the Bible to many of us, so I really encourage you to make it a habit over the coming weeks to read through Malachi several times. You can read the whole book in one sitting. Pray for God to open your heart and eyes to his truth. Pray that God would speak to us and make us more like Jesus as we study this powerful book.
This Sunday we’ll begin with Malachi 1:1–5. The point God makes in these opening verses is the key to understanding the rest of the book. It opens with a reminder of God’s sovereign, electing, unconditional love for his people. He’s going to rebuke them in the coming chapters, but first he opens with words of assurance.
Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday!
Grace and peace,