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MALACHI: TURNING POINTS

     A little history will enable you to understand the message of Malachi better. Malachi is correctly placed at the end of the Old Testament Canon (not all books are in chronological order) for he is the last prophet to record Holy Scripture before the Gospels and the beginning of the New Testament. It is sadly, the sunset of a nation that has continually rejected God’s offers of hope and restoration. Malachi is part of a group of prophets known as the post-exilic prophets.

·         Pre-Exilic Prophets (Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habbakkuk)

·         Exilic Prophets – Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc

·         Post-Exilic Prophets – Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

Basically, the pre-exilic prophets said, “If you don’t repent God will judge you and you will be carried off into exile.” The exilic prophets said, “We are in exile because of our sin,” and then they helped the people understand God’s purposes. The post-exilic prophets encouraged the people to be faithful to their current tasks and look forward to a time in the future when God would do a new work in the world.

            Malachi was a post-exilic prophet. He ministered the Word of the Lord in a time when God’s people had been through so much they had become lazy, indifferent and apathetic to the call of God on their life as a people. Malachi’s message is one of confrontation and a call to repentance. His time marked a turning point for the people of God:

·         Would they turn to renewed faithfulness or continue down path of unfaithfulness

·         Would the leadership remain corrupted and ministries selfish or would the exposure of the prophetic word turn them back to fulfilling their purpose.

·         Would the people continue in a path of marital disintegration by callously divorcing the wives of their youth or would the family be restored?

·         Would the people respond to a renewed sensitivity to the fulfillment of the promise of coming of Messiah or would they disregard His coming?

·         Would the people seek prosperity only to line their own pockets or would they turn to a greater kingdom vision that aligned themselves with God’s blessings in stewardship?

     These and other are the turning points that Malachi presented to the people of God. They are our turning points at this season as well.

            These turning points were so important. Three hundred years earlier God had thundered through a prophet named Amos:

Amos 8:11-12

"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.

     These turning points were disastrous for the people of Malachi’s day because when he finished His sermon God brought down the curtain on His prophetic word for 400 years! From Malachi’s message we see a people who have turned from joy to bitterness, expectation to skepticism, faith to apathy, and national revival to indifference. We also see God’s will is not forever frustrated as the rays of sunshine begin to peek through the clouds of judgment in the anticipation of God’s arrival:

Malachi 3:1

Behold, He is coming," Says the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 4:2

But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out  And grow fat like stall-fed calves.

Why Malachi?

            This is not light summer fare. This message of Malachi applied to the church by the Holy Spirit today is counter-cultural. It is not feel-good, easy, how to be rich and happy in life stuff. It is deeply probing and powerfully unmasking of our attitudes and approach to God in a season that should be growing in passion rather than ebbing away from it.

            1. It is a Biblical Book –

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

            2. It is a Transitional Book –

There were certain servants of God who were called to minister a message when the people were at a turning point from one season to another. These were more critical times than others and called for a renewal among the people of God. Malachi was such a prophet. 

-From O.T. to the N.T.

            -From Moses to Jesus

            -From Law to Grace

            -From a Curse to a Blessing

            -It was the Sunset of an old Kingdom to the Sunrise of a new Kingdom

            3. It is a Practical Book –

            This message is to a people who are not to grow weary in waiting, a people who must not lose their passion for God in unspiritual times.

 


 
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