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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.
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