Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi – Back from Exile

Lesson 9: “When will Israel learn?” Malachi


“Will a man rob God?” Malachi 3:8


Some things never change

·        The parallels between Nehemiah and Malachi indicate that we've now moved on about 80 years. Note the sins that the Israelites are getting mixed up in again. Remember at the beginning of Haggai, the people had returned full of enthusiasm, but quickly lapsed into discouraged inaction. Much the same is happening in Malachi.

·        We see the word "oracle" again. God is not happy, and the first two chapters are unique. There are a series of accusations against Israel, and Israel tries to defend itself, and after each defense, God replies and explains how weak those attempts are at justifying sins


Accusations and Defense

·        God begins by saying "I love you" (that says a lot!) But the people have the nerve to answer "How have you loved us?" ! (Mal. 1:2)

·        In v. 3-5, God didn't really "hate" Esau, just the love for Israel was so strong in comparison (cf. Luke 14:26, Rom. 9:10-13) note Esau/Edom did reject God and paid for it

·        Next, Israel showed contempt for God. How? See v. 7-14. Israel was insulting God with their sacrifices (see Dt. 15:21) v. 11 is a glimpse of the End Times. v. 13 must have hurt God

·        v.14 says they would be cursed for their crummy sacrifices. Remember what that means?

·        Ch. 2 describes how the priesthood had become corrupt. Remember Ezekiel said this was one of the reasons for the Exile! v. 7,8 describes a very serious sin (see Luke 17:1-2)

·        v. 9 says they were showing partiality in the law. Justice cannot be served that way!

·        Next sin, people were divorcing their wives and marrying heathen women! (v. 10-16) God said long ago to avoid that (Dt. 7:3,4; Lev. 18)

·        In v. 17, they ask "Where is the God of justice?" which wearied God. 3:1-5 is the answer to that question!

·        A messenger will come (quoted in Mk 1:2 and Luke 7:27; see also Isa. 40:3) Read Gal. 4:4

·        Why was John sent to prepare the way? To remind people of their need for repentance (see Matt. 3:9, the Pharisees didn't think they needed to repent!)

·        v. 2-4 are another glimpse ahead to End Times. v. 5 shows how special people are to God

·        In v. 10, apparently people were just making a pretense of tithing, bringing only part of it. God says bring all of it

·        In v. 14-15, the thought is similar to 2:17. People saw the wicked prospering and questioned it. That is similar to Psalms 37 and 94 (37:11 says meek are those who follow the Lord). Note God says it angers him when we wonder if it is worth it to serve God, and if we value what the world has (see 3:13-15). God will deal with the wicked! (like Zech. 1:15)


Chapter 4 is another look ahead to the End Times

·        v. 5,6 mention Elijah. See Matt. 17:10, and Luke 1:17. The reference to Elijah is used to refer to John the Baptist, probably because Elijah also came to call for repentance



Thank you for a great class!