The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), September 22
Malachi, the last of the Old Testament minor prophets, proclaims a final message—and it isn’t pretty!
Malachi addresses the remnant that has returned from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem and her temple. Though they have accomplished their goal, over time their hearts have drifted away from the LORD. Malachi thus calls them out for their failure to return to Him.
The book of Malachi may be divided into seven sections, with each section dealing with one subject:
Malachi confronts the same issues addressed by earlier prophets:
- Disobedience and rebellion – “Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them” (3:7).
- The need for repentance – “Return to Me, and I will return to you” (3:7).
- The coming judgment – “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up” (4:1).
Though Israel has returned to their land and re-built their temple, their drifting away from God demonstrates a deeper problem: they need the new hearts that the New Covenant has promised to provide.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Neh. 5:14-19; 12:27-13:31; Malachi 1:1-2:9:
What characterizes Israel at the dedication of the walls of Jerusalem? What does this reveal about a restored people?
How had Tobiah gained influence in Jerusalem? How does Nehemiah respond to Tobiah’s presence and the violation of the Sabbath? What does this reveal about times when godly leaders are absent?
Describe the spiritual leaders confronted by Malachi. How have they been defaming Him before the Gentiles?