Yesterday in our study we read through the whole book of Malachi to get an overview of the book. Today we are going to dig right in and break apart this book verse by verse. Some important questions we will think through are: Who is this talking to and about? What is it saying? Where? Why? When did this take place? and How does this apply to me?
First we need a little back ground to get started with this study. It is believed that Malachi was proclaiming as a prophet around 450 BC. Malachi was believed to be written in 430 BC. It is also believed that Malachi was a prophet during the time of Nehemiah. Malachi doesn’t mention time, heritage, or anything personal so we do not know much about the person writing this book. It is very possible that Malachi was not the name of this book writer. Malachi means, “My (God’s) Messenger.” With a title like that it is very possible this is just what people knew him as.
1 The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’
1:1 – Burden.
- What was the burden?
- Why do you think it could have been a burden?
My mind immediately goes to Jonah. Jonah definitely felt that burden of the Word, but in a different way I am sure. So different that Jonah did not want to carry out the task before him. A burden of the Word shows that this message was not an easy message to give. Have you ever had to carry the burden of the Word to someone. Maybe someone you know is in sin and needs to hear the truth of God’s Word. This truth isn’t always easy to proclaim, but truth and only truth brings true healing. We can all probably recall times when God has asked us to do something that is very hard to do. Imagine being in Malachi’s shoes. Not only is the message that he is brining burdensome, but it is possible he is also burdened by the message. His people are in sin and in great need of a message, but I am sure many of them did not want to hear the message Malachi is preaching.
- Is there someone in your life that you need to bring a message from the Lord to?
- Are you willing to do hard things for the Lord no matter the cost?
In just the first verse we see a little into the character of Malachi. He did exactly what the Lord told him to do and was used as a mighty instrument of the Lord. Some of us haven’t gotten that far yet. Today lets be instruments for God to use no matter the task He calls us to. The Christian life is an adventure leading us to the gates of Heaven!
1:2a – Love.
Use these questions to dig through this verse.
- Who is he talking to?
- What is being said?
- What does this verse reveal about the Israelites heart attitude?
- When have I acted the same way?
- How has God shown me that He loves me?
- How does my heart attitude reveal what I believe about God?
Take out a blank piece of paper and write down all the ways that you know God loves you. Like the Israelites we can also be tempted to think that God doesn’t love us or hasn’t shown us His love. When we reach that point we have hit a dangerous place in our belief about God.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
and kind (or loving) in all His works.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Love is at the very root of who God is. His love never fails! When we forget the kindness or love of God than we have forgotten Who our true love really is. That is where the Israelites have found themselves and that is why Malachi has been brought onto the scene.
Let’s never forget the love that God has for us!