Truth, Understanding, Insight

Malachi: Summary

20th March 2020, mgh


1) Malachi: Summary

Who may abide the day of his coming? “Malachi” means “My Messenger” and there are five instances of messengers referred to in the prophecy. Malachi himself (Mal 1:1), the faithful Priest (Mal 2:7), John the Baptist (Mal 3:1), Y’shua (Mal 3:1) and Elijah (Mal 3:1,4,5). The book begins with condemnation of Israel and directs attention to attitudes towards Divine worship. It gives a powerful message of hope and warning for both Jews and Gentiles and is relevant as much today as when it was written over 2000 years ago. The message can be summed up as:

Repentance, Judgement and Salvation

With our world in turmoil, we can see the promised return of Israel’s Messiah is essential, but as Malachi asks, “who may abide the day of his coming?”

But also we might ask can we “abide the day of his coming?”

The people of Israel had become unfamiliar with the Word of Yahweh and they fell far short of the reqirements of the Word. They were spiritually blind and the priests had failed in their responsibility to educate the people and vigorously defended apostate attitudes and practices in worship of idolatry and false gods, such as Baal (that is lord.) Malachi tried to draw the people back to Yahweh by directing them to fundamental truths: * Israel has a God, who is Yahweh Elohim,

* He loves His people and has shown that love * He’s their Father &Master and deserves honour

* He is Holy and demands holiness in his people * He requires obedience and purity in worship

*He’s a God of judgement and will judge his people

* There is a glorious future for those who love Him and seek to manifest that character embodied in His Name, “Yahweh Elohim”, which signifies the calling out of a chosen people, “He Who Will be Mighty Ones.”

It is the message of the NT also:

Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, (Acts 15:14-15)

The key to understanding Malachi is:

Worship Yahweh in the Beauty of Holiness (1Chron 16:29, Psa 29:2, Psa 96 :9)

Malachi 1 The Message to the people of Israel

The burden of the word of Yahweh to Israel by Malachi. “I have loved you,” saith Yahweh.

Then comes the people’s response : “Wherein hast thou loved us?”

Yahweh’s response was to give an example to show his attitude to those who despised him. Yahweh’s relationship to Edom was given. He would have indignation against Edom for ever.

I have loved you, saith Yahweh. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith Yahweh: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (Malachi 1:2-3)

The promises to Jacob (Israel) would endure, whereas Esau’s seed would be destroyed and it was obvious that Yahweh’s treatment of Edom was very different, and was a witness to Israel.

Malachi then records that Yahweh asks:

If then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith Yahweh of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? This is strong language meaning to condemn, disdain, or to scorn implying bitterness,.

The reply to this question is: Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of Yahweh is contemptible. (Malachi 1:6)

They were offering polluted bread, lame and sick offerings thus declaring that they treated the worship of Yahweh with contempt (or lightly) and not as being important to them. In despising his name they were turning their backs on the promises to their Patriarchs, denying the power of Yahweh and being disrespectful. The people are asked to consider how their governor would react if they offered him polluted goods. Malachi states that Yahweh has no pleasure in their offerings:

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saithYahweh of hosts. (Mal 1:8)

There is a plea that they consider their attitude and “ beseech God that he will be gracious unto us”.

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith Yahweh of hosts. ... I have no pleasure in you, saith Yahweh of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. (Malachi 1:9-10 )

This first chapter concludes with a vision of the time when from among “the Gentiles incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen”.

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith Yahweh of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of Yahweh is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. (Malachi 1:11-12 )

Does this bring us to consider modern forms of worship in these latter days?

Israel denied the Name and failed to give reverence to the Creator, the giver and sustainer of life.

The understanding of His Name was important to the faithful of Israel and the implication is that it should be important in the latter days. The calling out of the faithful extends over thousands of years from Adam until now, when we see Gentile worship far removed from the knowledge of Yahweh’s purpose and his requirements. In recent days Donald Trump sadly said, “Some Jews don’t love Israel enough”. Do gentiles today love Israel or understand that Israel is God’s witness?”

Malachi 2: Malachi’s message to the Priests, the Levites, the teachers of Israel

Theteachers would not hear, heed or give glory to Yahweh, and they had departed out of the way and not kept knowledge nor regarded its importance. They had not taught the people and “caused many to stumble”. This is the message to those who would teach

A most important responsibility given to the teachers in the OT and NT is the feeding of the flock.

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Yahweh unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. Ezekiel 34:2-3

This command comes from Y’shua to Peter three times in John 21 “feed my lambs, feed my sheep (twice)”. Malachi continues in Malachi 2 with this commandment to the priests:

And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Yahweh of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (Malachi 2:1-2 )

Malachi states clearly that they had behaved “treacherously” in accepting a “strange god”. They had disobeyed the first commandment: And God spake all these words, saying, I am Yahweh thy Elohim, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:1-3 )

Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of Yahweh which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Mal:2:11)

They are told that Yahweh, despite their tears will not accept their offering.

And this have ye done again, covering the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

They ask why their offering will not be accepted. Wherefore?

Just as they had broken the covenant of marriage, they had also broken the covenant that they had with Yahweh in turning their backs upon him, in accepting strange gods. Yahweh sought a godly seed uncontaminated by strange gods and the ungodly practices of the surrounding nations.

Because Yahweh hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. (Malachi 2:11-15)

The chapter concludes with the statement that they had wearied Yahweh.

Ye have wearied Yahweh with your words.

They respond with another question. “Wherein have we wearied him?”

When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of Yahweh, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17)

Blind to their sins they called for “a God of judgement.”

Malachi 3 Judgement to Come

Behold, I will send my messenger, (John the Baptist) and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, (Y’shua the Judge) whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Yahweh of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: (Malachi 3:1-2)

Zecharias understood the role that his son John was to play in Yahweh’s purpose. The Messiah was to be Saviour, Redeemer and Judge. He was appointed to prepare the Jews to receive he who would be their Messiah.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias (ie Elijah), to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:16-17)

Matthew’s record States:

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (from Isaiah), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matthew 3:1-3 )

John the Baptist warned the Jews of Y’shua’s role as a future judge and the need for repentance.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11-12 )

Y’shua quoted from Malachi 1:3 describing John the Baptist as the Messenger to prepare the way for the Messiah, who would dispense true justice.

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. (Matthew 11:9-10 )

After having warned them of judgement, Yahweh then through Malachi appealed to them:

I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:6-7)

They pose another question. Wherein shall we return?

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith Yahweh of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith Yahweh of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Yahweh of hosts. (Malachi 3:10-12 )

Many could not see any benefit or profit in serving Yahweh as seen in the response of many.

Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before Yahweh of hosts? (Malachi 3:13-14)

Many still did not see any benefit in heeding the message, but there has always been throughout history, a remnant of Jews who reverenced Yahweh and recognised his purpose with the nation.

Then they that feared tYahweh spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith Yahweh of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. (Malachi 3:16-17)

Malachi 4: The Final messenger

Judgement of the nations

Throughout Malachi Yahweh of Hosts, which is Yahweh Tz’vaoth, is used consistently signifying “He who will be armies,” that is the Divine power manifested through Divine armies, that will bring judgement and destruction upon the wicked of this age.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh : And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse... For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of hosts, ...theyshall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith Yahweh of hosts. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; (Malachi 4:5-6 )