Book Overviews · Malachi

Malachi Overview

What's Up With The Blank Page Between the Old and New Testament - San Fernando Valley (SFV) Church | Parks Chapel AME

Well, here we are.  The last Overview of the Old Testament.

We read approximately 2000 years of God’s history in just 9 months.  Amazing.  So on your mental timeline, we are at around 400 BC. (Christ will be born in year 4 B.C.)

This is the last book of the Old Testament and it falls under the category of prophecy in your Bible.   The remnant returned to Jerusalem in about 100 years ago in 3 different journeys.  We had a time of revival under Ezra and Nehemiah but we read the end of History, they went back into the cycle of apostasy (falling away from the Lord).  The priests are lax and degenerate.  The temple is neglected, sacrifices are not a priority.

The Jews are waiting for a King to show up from the Line of David to restore the glory of Jerusalem.  Malachi assures them that the Messiah will come, but it will mean judgment for them rather than glory!  This is the book that will bridge the Old Testament and the New Testament.

“Malachi” means “my messenger.” The prophet’s name was appropriate since God had commanded him to bear this “word” to the people of Israel. The prophet was not the source of the revelation that follows; he was only a messenger whose job it was to communicate a message from The Lord.

Malachi used the question and answer method extensively. This method became increasingly popular, and in the time of Christ the rabbis and scribes used it frequently, as did the Lord Jesus.

Essentially, the Israelites disputed God’s love, His name, and His will concerning: marriage and divorce, His justice, His demands regarding stewardship, and His service.

We will read 4 short chapters about:

  • First, the love for Israel 1:2-5
  • But then:
    • he priests’ illicit practices and indifferent attitudes
    • The people’s mixed marriages and divorces
    • The problem of God’s justice
    • The people’s sin of robbing
    • The arrogant and the humble 3:13—4:3

In each case, they responded by challenging his criticism. They said, “How have we done that?” Their response indicated the hardness of their heart, a resistance to deal with the internal conditions in their hearts that needed correcting. They believed that since they were serving God,  He must be pleased with them. Malachi said that their hearts were not right with God, and He was not pleased with them.

We will end this book with some of the most specific prophecies about the coming Messiah we have read yet!

I still can’t believe we are ending the OT!!!  That was awesome.  (But hard!)

And then Silence for 400 years!!

 

Nehemiah · Psalm

Nehemiah 11-13 and Psalm 126

Chapter 11-12 -Good news and bad news.  Nehemiah was concerned about the lack of population that had returned to Jerusalem.  The good news is many began coming.  Nehemiah highlights the list of people to show the Levitical line and how it matched before they were taken into captivity. If you skim like me you might miss that the Tribes of Israel were regathering (just like the prophets said).

Nehemiah describes the dedication of the wall and the revival of HIs people.  God instituted these celebrations as a way to commemorate His Provisions, to teach the generation to come, but also to build community.

43 And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.  ❤


Chapter 13   Now the bad news- they disobeyed the Lord and broke their promises.

  • verse 4-14 they failed to keep the Temple Holy
  • verse 15-22 they failed to keep the Sabbath Holy
  • verse 23-28 they failed to keep their marriages Holy

When the people began to regather they specifically chose to live outside the city limits where they could live a “less strict life”- Feel free to let your Holy Spirit apply that to your own life 🧐

Nehemiah returned again to restore order.  (We really do need Godly leadership in our lives and our country).

Well, my sweet friends…you have finished the History of the Old Testament.  We have our last prophecy book to read-Malachi.  This will be a bridge book connecting the OT to the NT through John the Baptist.

So as you reflect-you can see why it is important to read Chronologically.  Look at this and see where Ezra and Nehemiah are.  If you tried reading your Bible in the past and were confused…now you know why.

Reading it like this you see God’s character, His Promises, His Love, His commitment, His Forgiveness-And that gives me Hope.

And we end with Praise.  An Ascent song as they come to the Temple to Praise HIm:

Psalm 126

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.