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The Book of Malachi

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The Book of Malachi summary

Purpose of The Book of Malachi:
Malachi challenges those that feel like God is unfaithful to them, showing that it is actually they who are being unfaithful to God.

Summary of The Book of Malachi:
In 539 B.C., Israel was allowed to return to the Promised Land. In the years immediately following, Israel had high hopes that the glory and power of God would again be displayed through them, and that they would return to a time of freedom, peace, and prosperity even greater than that of Solomon. Generations later, Israel began doubting that they would see such a restoration, and complained that God was not following through on His promises.

Malachi is a running series of disputations between Israel and God wherein God makes an accusation, and Israel denies it. Then God goes on to illustrate how his statement or accusation is true and accurate, displaying that He has indeed been faithful, and it is Israel who is the unfaithful one. God gives them several examples of His love and faithfulness, and then points out that Israel has been unfaithful through their idolatry, improper worship, marital infidelity, failing to tithe, questioning God's righteousness, and making light Him.

Author and Dates of The Book of Malachi:
Malachi is the last of the Old Testament prophetic books to be written, covering events that occurred around 475-450 B.C. when Israel was becoming disillusioned about the prospects of renewed freedom and glory for the nation.

Outline of The Book of Malachi:

  1. Disputation #1: Does God Love Israel? (ch. 1:2 - 5).
  2. Disputation #2: Has Israel Defiled God? (ch. 1:6 - 2:9).
  3. Disputation #3: Has Israel Been Unfaithful? (ch. 2:10 - 16).
  4. Disputation #4: Is God Tired of Israel's Prayers? (ch. 2:17 - 3:5).
  5. Disputation #5: Has Israel Robbed God? (ch. 3:6 - 12).
  6. Disputation #6: Has Israel Spoken Out Against God? (ch. 3:13 - 4:3).

Themes of The Book of Malachi:
God's Faithfulness: Malachi asserts that God has not abandoned Israel, rather Israel has abandoned Him. Through the several disputations in the book, Malachi asserts that every aspect of God's character attests to His faithfulness: love, benevolent rule, infinite power, fatherhood, justice, unchangeableness, and truth all serve as proof of His faithfulness to Israel.
First fruits: One of the ways Israel was unfaithful to God was through halfhearted worship. They failed to offer to Him the best of what He had freely given them. Instead, they offered Him blemished and defiled animals for sacrifice, and they withheld their monetary gifts.

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