Malachi: An Appeal to Backsliders


The Book of Malachi

Malachi rebuked the people and the priests for neglecting the worship of God and failing to live according to God’s will. If the priests were unfaithful, how could they lead the people? They had become stumbling blocks instead of spiritual leaders. If the people were divorcing their wives and marrying pagan women, how could they lead their children? Their relationship with God had become inconsequential. When our relationship with God becomes less important than it should be, we can strengthen it by setting aside our sinful habits, thinking often of our Lord, and giving God our best each day.

The divine dialogue in Malachi’s prophecy is designed as an appeal to break through the barrier of Israel’s disbelief, disappointment, and discouragement. God reveals His continuing love in spite of Israel’s lethargy. His appeal in this oracle is for the people and priests to stop and realize that their lack of blessing is not caused by God’s lack of concern, but by their disobedience of the covenant law.

The last book of the Old Testament concludes with a dramatic prophecy of the coming of the Messiah and John the Baptist: “I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.” (3:1).

Writer of Malachi

Although nothing is known about this person, the weight of tradition has assumed the book was written by a prophet named Malachi, about 1,000 years after the time of Moses, the first prophet and Bible writer. The prophecy can be specifically dated at about 450 B. C.

Historical Setting

Malachi was addressed to the nation of Israel about 100 years after its return from captivity in Babylon. At first, the people have been enthusiastic about rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple and restoring their system of worship, but their zeal soon began to wane. They began to question God’s providence as their faith degenerated into cynicism.

Theological Contribution in Malachi

The prophecy of Malachi is noted for its vivid portrayal of the love of God as well as His night and power. Israel needed to be reminded of these truths at a time when widespread doubt had dashed expectations of the Messiah.

ESV Study Bible Hardcover

The ESV Study Bible features a wide array of study tools, including extensive study notes, 200 full-color maps, 40 full-color illustrations, charts, timelines, articles, and introductions, making it a valuable resource for serious students & teachers.

Special Consideration in Malachi

Malachi leaves us with the feeling that the story is not yet finished, and that God still has promises to fulfill on behalf of His people. After Malachi came 400 long years of silence. But when the time was right, heaven would burst forth in song at the arrival of the Messiah.

Scripture Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.

Click here to print or download the scripture outline on the book of “Malachi: An Appeal to Backsliders


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