Malachi Says to Worship the God of Our First Love
"I have loved you," says the Lord. "Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the Lord. "Yet Jacob I have loved."
-Malachi 1:2, emphasis added
Malachi (430 B.C.) was a contemporary with Ezra. In Malachi we find the last words from God in the Old Testament--words of His love! Last words are very important. Christ's last words contained His legacy for us, His body, the church. Our God is a God of love; He has shown that love ever since He came on a search and rescue mission to the Garden of Eden. As soon as Adam and Eve had fallen, God came to their rescue. And He loves with the same depth today.
Malachi is all about loving God, and what He expects from His special people. In just a glance at the book, we can see many problems among those special people, so the Lord points out and questions them about key areas lacking in their lives.
If you read Malachi section by section, you will find powerful spiritual lessons that teach about responding to the love of God (1:1-5), honoring the love of God (1:6-2:9), exposing God's unloving people (2:10-16), trusting the love of God 2:17-3:6), and acknowledging God's loving ownership (3:7-12).
We have now come to the end of our study of the last twelve books of the Old Testament--a time when God's people fluctuated between listening, and refusing to listen, to the prophets of God. I pray that you have truly seen Jesus Christ in these books of prophecy and have worshiped Him all through these weeks!
The Inter-Testamental Period: After Malachi came the Inter-Testamental Period, which was the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. Many call these years the "silent period" because of the absence of any new inspired scriptures; however, those years are far from silent because God's Word mapped out the events of the entire period in advance.
From studying this period, we learn that the Jews were triumphant as they kept the Word, but were defeated when they lost sight of it. During this time, the four main Jewish religious groups of Christ's day developed: the Essenes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zealots. Additionally, the Apocrypha and the conclusion of Nehemiah, Ezra, and Malachi's ministry is clearly recorded. Finally, we see the fulfillment of the most explicit and detailed of all the Old Testament prophecies involving Christ's coming after His herald, John the Baptist, prepares the way. And out of those dark days came some bright saints: Joseph and Mary, Zacharias and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna.
God always has His servants in every generation who speak for Him, and speaking for God always brings great blessings! Are you one of His servants in this generation who speaks for Him?
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