Malachi 1:1-5 reminds the Israelites of the love that God has for them.
It refers back to Genesis 25:22-23 where we are told that God
loved Jacob, but he hated Esau. At first, this sounds quite confusing.
However, the real paradox here is not why God hated Esau, but why he
loved Jacob. We know that every inclination of man is sinful,
so why would God choose to love any of us? The answer is the
same for us today as it was for Jacob. God loves us simply because of his grace (Romans 9:10-13).
Malachi 1:6-2:9 reproves the Israelite priests for offering polluted
bread on the altar. God commanded the Israelites to bring
only the best of the flocks and their harvests for sacrifice. He
said that their hearts were polluted, so the bread was polluted.
In this way, the Levites caused the people to sin.
In Malachi 2:10-17, the Israelites are further rebuked for their sins.
They were dealing treacherously with each other.
They divorced their wives to marry pagan women. They had become
bored with their faith, and replaced true worship with emotion. We
must be careful in our churches today, not to attend just so we can experience an emotional high.
Malachi 3:1-6 gives us the prediction of the two messengers. It is a reference to the second coming of Christ (Matthew 11:10).
In Malachi 3:7-18, the Israelites are again rebuked for their sin.
Just like in many churches today, when they went to the
temple they were no longer even aware that they weren't truly there to worship
God. The crowds and the rituals made them feel like they were
doing the right thing, like everyone else. Furthermore, they
were withholding their tithes and offerings. In return, God was withholding blessings from them.
Malachi 4 gives us the prediction of the day of the Lord.
Following the Great Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return.
During Christ's earthly reign of His kingdom during the
millennium, evil will be judged as quickly as it occurs.