Thoughts About What We’re Reading!
This week we turn our attention to the Book of Malachi. This will be the last book in our Old Testament reading plan.
It’s been my pleasure to go on this journey with you – next week we will do some sort of a wrap-up. After that, we will spend the following weeks leading up to Easter with a special daily devotional.
Following Easter, we will begin a new reading plan through the New Testament that should take us all the way up to Advent. I will continue the weekly blog when we start the New Testament.
So, what can we learn from the book of Malachi?
As we explore the book of Malachi we see that the temple had been rebuilt and the walls around the city of Jerusalem are either complete or in process.
But after all this was done the people seem to be falling into a state of mediocrity. Lukewarm might be a way to describe the people. The people of Israel seem to just be going through the motions.
Here we find that life is not easy for the people – they remain under Persian rule. Harvests seem to have been poor and subject to locust damage.
Maybe this is the reason the people were so indifferent or even resentful toward God. Both the priests and the people were guilty of violating the laws regarding sacrifices, tithes, and offerings.
Maybe their hopes in God’s covenant promises were dimmed.
So the Lord sent Malachi to speak to His people concerning the lukewarm state of their hearts. This reminds me of the warning given to the church in Revelation Chapter 3:14-22.
Even though the book is made up of a series of rebukes from the Lord, God continues to affirm His love for them – which is the reason they continue to exist after the judgment of the exile.
Malachi pointed to God’s past, present, and future dealings with Israel in order to renew their perspective, reestablish their hope, and motivate them to proper covenant faithfulness.
I conclude with what the Holman Christian Standard Bible says about the book of Malachi:
“Malachi was the last prophetic message from God before the close of the Old Testament period.
This book is a fitting conclusion to the Old Testament and a transition for understanding the kingdom proclamation in the New Testament.
Malachi spoke to the hearts of a troubled people whose circumstances of financial insecurity, religious skepticism, and personal disappointments were similar to those often experienced by God’s people today.
The book contains a message that must not be overlooked by those who wish to encounter God and His kingdom and to lead others to a similar encounter.
We have a great, loving, and holy God, who has unchanging and glorious purposes for His people.
Our God calls us to genuine worship, fidelity to Himself and to one another, and to expectant faith in what he is doing and says He will do in this world and for His people.”
Until next time… Keep reading!
Other excerpts taken from: Bible Knowledge Commentary and Gospel Transformation Bible